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11:02 Feb 16 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Tibet's past and present in the eyes of former slave
11:01, February 16, 2009  

Former Tibetan slaves and serfs, who lived a miserable and tragic life in old Tibet under the feudal serfdom integrated with religion and politics, would never imagine life could be as comfortable as nowadays. Million of slaves and serfs emancipated from the hell of cruel oppression on March 28, 1959, thus pushing the region into a new society and changing the life of slaves and serfs.

"I don't need to worry about more and could live under favorite policy and society," said Drolkar, 79 years old, once a slave in old Tibet.

Drolkar now lives a government-subsidied house with more than 200 square meters. But, those he has ever suffered in that brutal society, can still thrill him.


File photo shows a half-naked serf forced to labor in shackles. (Xinhua Photo)


In 1933 his family moved to Lhasa when Drolkar was only 3 years old. The family was hopeful to start new life, but dark society put them into the street to beg for live. Several years later, they fled to Gu Village of Bome County in Nyingchi Prefecture, current residence, and became slaves.

"I was forced to feed horses for the slave-owner even I was only 8 years old at that time," said Drolkar tearfully.

"We lived with horses, ate what horses ate and beat by the slave-owner at any time. We were forced to do heavy lobar, but ate the horse' leave in return," Drolkar said, the slaves and serfs were required to pay overburdensome poll tax every year regardless of their poverty.

Things have changed since 1959.

"The People's Liberation Army then arrived and distributed all their food to us," Drolkar said, "the soldiers, who are all well disciplined, care much about the mass."

As a great historical transformation in Tibetan history, the democratic reform in Tibet, which started in March 1959 overthrew the feudal serfdom system and, since then, the serfs acquired personal freedom.

Drolkar, likes millions of serfs and slaves in Tibet, finally has his own land, house and livestock. Since then, the serfs and slaves, who worked for serf-owners and earned few without any freedom, became the master of their new life.

"I cried when Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai, who changed our destinies and brought hope to all Tibetan people, passed away," Drolkar said, "and I was afraid that the policy might change, which might break the hard-earned happiness."

Drolkar was proved to be wrong by the unremitting progresses of Tibet. Up to 2008, the GDP in Nyingchi Prefecture reached 4.032 billion yuan while the net income for rural people in Bome county amounted to 4.865 yuan per capita, and the annual income for Drolkar also reached more than 50,000 yuan.

"All about are never to be realized in old Tibet," said Drolkar.

Source: Xinhua

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