BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Attending a meeting in the Great Hall of the People, Padma Chodron did not feel like talking much about the riot that took place five years ago in Tibet.
"The memory of it is thin and the psychological pressure has been alleviated. Everyone is focusing on making life better," Padma Chodron said, referring to the violence that erupted in Lhasa on March 14, 2008, resulting in the deaths of 19 people, including one police officer.
But Padma Chodron can still recall the fear she felt when images of looting and violence were shown on television in her home village.
"I was fidgety day and night, afraid that something terrible would happen again," the Tibetan deputy to China's legislature said.
"Conversations between villagers were limited to everyday things, but after the incident, the topics changed and our peaceful lives were disturbed," said the deputy from Medog county.
The incident also had an impact on the region's tourism industry, which many depend on to secure their livelihoods.
In 2008, the volume of tourists was reduced to less than half of that of the previous year. The tourism boom brought about by the inauguration of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in 2006 came to an end after the incident.
Five years after the riot, Tibetans attending the annual meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) believe the memory of the incident has passed.
"Tibet has long been out of the shadow of the incident," said Xindra Tenzin Chodrak, deputy director of the standing committee of the people's congress of Tibet.
"Businessmen and Buddhists tell me they feel safe in Lhasa," Xindra Tenzin Chodrak said.
The regional tourism industry began to recover in 2009, with the number of visitors reaching 5.56 million in 2009, a 147-percent increase over that of 2008. In 2012, Tibet received more than 10 million tourists from home and abroad.
"To maintain Tibet's social stability, it is important to develop the economy and improve people's livelihoods," said Padma Choling, director of the standing committee of the people's congress of Tibet.
Over the past five years, Tibet has maintained GDP growth of 12 percent, as well as boosted incomes for both urban and rural residents.
For Padma Chodron, the biggest change over the past five years was the completion of a tunnel linking mountain-locked Medog County, where she lives, to the outside world.
"The road was completed. This was the best thing to happen to the residents of Medog in years," said Padma Chodron.