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15:32 Feb 25 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Immeasurable contrast seen between past and present Tibet
15:28, February 25, 2009  

The large-scale "50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet Exhibition," depicting past and present Tibet, has opened in Beijing. This objective and factual exhibition, featuring strong contrasts, vividly demonstrates the darkness and backwardness of old Tibet and the development and progress of new Tibet in a touching and tremendously convincing display.

Through this exhibition, people are able to witness the misery of old Tibet. Fifty years ago, old Tibet, a feudal serfdom theocracy ruled by a dictatorship of upper-class monks and feudal nobles, was extremely dark, cruel, uncivilized and backwards. Under this kind of system, serf owners who accounted for less than 5 percent of the total population possessed 95 percent of the land and slaves. Serfs on the other hand, made up 90 percent of the total population and did not own any land. They were dependent on their owners, and because the majority of their incomes went to their owners, they lived in extreme poverty. Looking back on the long history of Tibet, there is no joy or happiness, let alone "a fantastic society," that can be seen or heard. Instead, a great many serfs painfully suffered in the darkest in a most uncivilized feudal serfdom society.

People can feel the liberation of the Tibetan Plateau through the exhibition. The democratic reform adopted in Tibet abolished the decayed and dark feudal serfdom, setting one million serfs and slaves free. They could no longer be traded, transferred, exchanged or used to offset debts as serf owners' personal properties, or be forced by serf owners to work, and became entitled to a set of human rights such as personal freedom. Following the epoch-making great reform, Tibet began a glorious process from darkness to light, from backwardness to progress, from poverty to richness, from autocracy to democracy, and from being closed to opening-up. Prior to this, the Tibetan Plateau did not have happy songs, laughter or yearning for bright future.

In the exhibition, the audience can clearly view the glorious achievements of new Tibet. On the basis of a modern social system founded by the Democratic Reform, Tibet has gradually stepped up its drive towards modernization. Over the past 50 years, economic construction and social development in Tibet has shown flourishing prosperity. With the implementation of guideline policies and preferential policies, Tibet's appearance has undergone a drastic change, and so have the livelihoods of the Tibetan people of all ethnicities. In 1959, Tibet's GDP was only 174 million yuan, and per capita income was merely 142 yuan. In 2008, Tibet's GDP reached 39.2 billion yuan, and net per capita income of farmers and herdsmen reached 3,170 yuan. The most direct and most realistic issues concerning the interests of the Tibetan people, such as housing, medical care, education, transportation, drinking water and communications, have all been greatly improved.

Through the exhibition, people can envision Tibet's future. During the 50 years since Democratic Reform in Tibet, people of all ethnicities in Tibet have been able to hold their heads high and feel proud and elated, because they have created happy new lives and written a new chapter of progress and prosperity in Tibet. It has been 50 years of unparalleled emancipation of social productive forces, during which advanced socialist culture has continuously developed and social wealth increasingly prospered. It has been 50 years of daily undertakings in Tibetan progress, during which people of all ethnicities in Tibet have enjoyed the great benefits and the rapid improvement of living standards. It has been 50 years during which the Tibetan people have realized their emotions, centripetal force and cohesion towards the motherland and 50 years in which unprecedented unity among people of all ethnicities has been achieved. A beautiful tomorrow with economic development, the unity of ethnicities, a safe border defense and a harmonious society with people living and working in peace and contentment in Tibet are all displayed before the audience's eyes.

The "50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet Exhibition" is a condensed version of Tibet's history. New and old Tibet are displayed as two extremes. Facing the indubitable facts, we believe everyone will reach a clear and definite conclusion: the old Tibet was barbarous, underdeveloped and dark, while the new Tibet is civilized, progressive and bright.

By China Tibet Online

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