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08:40 Mar 23 2009

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New York council member: Americans need to have balanced information on Tibet
08:39, March 23, 2009  

Americans might not be able to see a full picture of Tibet as the information they have was rather one-sided, a New York City council member said on Thursday.

Larry Seabrook made the comment after meeting with a five-member delegation of Tibetan deputies of China's National People's Congress, which is on a six-day visit to the United States.

"I think the dialogue and information was necessary," Seabrook said. "I am glad I could have the opportunity to sit here and learned a lot about Tibet that has not been told to the (U.S.) public."

Seabrook told Xinhua that his past knowledge of Tibet was based on information "only from one side."

"This is the first time I've got information about the other side," he said.

Seabrook said many people do not know what has exactly happened in Tibet and their impression about Tibet is what has been projected by the media.

Citing the changes of Tibetan women's social and political status over the past 50 years, Seabrook said the Tibetan women shouldered the heaviest labor burdens, but were relegated to the lowest social status in the past.

Local government codes in old Tibet clearly stipulated that "women have no right to discuss state affairs," and "neither slaves nor women are permitted to involve themselves in military and political matter."

During their meeting, Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak, a living Buddha of Tibetan Buddhism and head of the delegation, said the social status of Tibetan women has improved significantly since the 1959 democratic reform in the region.

Female officials now constitute 38 percent of the total in Tibet, according to the regional government.

Women also account for more than 20 percent of the legislators in the regional people's congress.

Source: Xinhua

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