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16:38 Mar 25 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Former serf writes: Dalai Lama "chief representative" of Tibetan serfdom
15:50, March 25, 2009  

Raidi, a former Tibetan serf and vice chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, has called the Dalai Lama and his political backers the "chief representatives" of the theocratic, feudal serfdom of the old Tibet.

"They have confronted the fundamental interests of the mass of working people who make up the majority of the Tibetan population and they have irreconcilable contradictions with the requirements of social development and progress and the development trends of human society," said Raidi in an article.

His signed article, "The Great Milestone of Development and Progress in Tibet -- in Memory of the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reform in Tibet," will be published in full Thursday by the People's Daily. Excerpts will appear in or be broadcast by China National Radio and China Central Television, as well as major media in Tibet and Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, which have high concentrations of Tibetans in some areas.

In the article, Raidi hails the quelling of the rebellion by the "reactionary upper class clique of Tibet" by Tibetan people of different ethnic groups under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) 50 years ago.

"Democratic Reform was a great, decisive option that changed the fate of the Tibetan people, the watershed between the old and new histories of Tibet, a milestone in the world history of abolitionism, and a great contribution to the human rights cause in the world by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people," said the man who calls himself a witness to Democratic Reform in Tibet.

Raidi was born to a poor herding family in August 1938. In 1959, he was in the first group of Tibetans to study for four years in Beijing, where he and his classmates met the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

According to Raidi, in the old Tibet, officials, aristocrats and lamaseries monopolized the cultivated land and grassland and the majority of livestock, while serfs and slaves had no land.

Under theocratic rule, the religious upper class, which comprised the largest serf-owning group with 36.8 percent of the land, ruled the Tibetans politically, culturally and religiously. The old Tibetan law divided Tibetans into three categories and nine grades, under which serf-owners could lease, mortgage and sell their serfs.

In 1959, the central government launched Democratic Reform.

"Undoubtedly, once the Tibetan reactionaries dare to start a wide-ranging rebellion, the working people there will be liberated as early as possible," Raidi said, quoting Mao's prediction about the situation in Tibet a half century ago.

Democratic Reform made the mass of Tibetan serfs and slaves into the masters of Tibet, which, he said, was "a miracle in the entire history of the development of human society."

Starting in 1975, Raidi became a leading official of the Tibet Autonomous Region. In 2003, he was elected a vice chairman of the Tenth NPC Standing Committee.

The central authorities have always held important meetings whenever the situation in Tibet was at a critical juncture, Raidi said in his article. He referred to conferences and workshops held by the central authorities to study the situation and map out new guidelines and arrangements for the development and stability of Tibet.

In 1994, the central authorities worked out a policy directing central departments, large state-owned enterprises and other parts of China to give financial and personnel assistance to Tibet. So far, this policy has involved all seven prefectural cities and 74 counties in the autonomous region.

In his article, Raidi disclosed details of how the third generation of the CPC leadership, with Jiang Zemin at the core, decided to construct the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project at the request of the former Tibetan leader. On Nov. 10, 2000, Jiang issued an instruction for a special report on the issue by the Ministry of Railways, calling for work to begin as early as possible.

The highland rail project, which began in June 2001, was completed on July 1, 2007, the day President Hu Jintao addressed the opening ceremony. He called it a great project in China's rail history and a miracle in world rail history.

In the article, Raidi attributed the status of the Tibetan people to China's unique system of regional national autonomy, which has ensured an unprecedented unity among all ethnic groups and made the country a world model in successfully resolving the issue of ethnic minorities.

Since the Tibet Autonomous Region was founded in 1965, Tibetans and other minority people have participated in state, regional and ethnic affairs on an equal footing. So far, all the chairpersons of the regional people's congresses and regional government have been Tibetans, while Tibetans and minority people have accounted for 77.97 percent of all officials at all levels in Tibet, according to the former legislator.

With 20 deputies in the NPC, Tibetans enjoy the largest presence in the top legislature among all ethnic groups, compared with the proportion of Tibetans in the population, Raidi wrote.

He criticized the Dalai Lama and his backers, known as the so-called "government-in-exile" to the West, for its decades-long separatist activities, particularly the riots in the late 1980s and the March 14 riots in Lhasa in 2008.

The Dalai Lama and his backers have sought to portray theocratic serfdom in old Tibet as a "Shangri La" and stigmatize Democratic Reform as something that has trapped Tibetans in hellish suffering.

Raidi also blamed the Dalai Lama and his associates for a recent proposal asking the central authorities to give the so-called "Greater Tibet" a high degree of autonomy, which, he wrote, is nothing but a pro-independence appeal in disguised form.

"Their goal was not realized before, can not be realized now, and will never be realized in the future," he stressed.

Source: Xinhua

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