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Witnesses denounce claims of "cultural genocide" in Tibet

By Melinda Jin (China Tibet Online)

08:32, June 07, 2013

Photo shows an artwork displayed during the "Beauty of Tibet" Painting and Photography Exhibition held in Australia. [Photo/China Tibet Online]

The "Beauty of Tibet" Painting and Photography Exhibition was opened in Australia on May 29, 2013, providing a window for locals and global audiences to get a better understanding about Tibet.

During the exhibition, audiences saw the developing, harmonious and beautiful Tibet. However, they raised questions to the experts and scholars in the art delegation: why what they have seen from the exhibition is different from what the Dalai clique and the Western society preach?

The 14th Dalai Lama always claims the "cultural genocide" of Tibet, criticizing the central government of China for "radical restriction of Buddhism lectures", the Tibetan "culture, language and ethnic identity on the verge of extinction" as well as the "assimilation of the Tibetan culture by the Han culture".

Shi Weiqiang, consul general of Chinese Consulate in Melbourne, had worked as an aid-Tibet cadre for three years from 2001 to 2004, during which he went to the Barkhor Street every morning to take pictures of the local pilgrims taking ritual walks.

"Since the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951, the Tibetan culture has entered the best phase of development. I learned that the local government of Lhasa allocated money to build stoves for local Buddhist followers to burn aromatic plant as a way of protection for the locals' Buddhist life," said Shi.

Compared with China, some Western countries have great differences in national conditions and development patterns, so they misunderstand China's policies in Tibet. For example, the one-on-one aid project of more advanced provinces is a Chinese tradition to aid the less developed areas of China. However, the project and aid-Tibet cadres are defamed as implementation of "Assimilation of Tibet".

The friendship between the Hans and Tibetans can be dated back to over 1,000 years ago when the well-known marriage of Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618-917A.D.) and Tibetan king Sontzen Gampo started, Shi Weiqiang said.

"When I was in Tibet, I got along well with the locals and learnt a lot from them, which was normal cultural exchange without any imposed ideology, let alone 'Assimilation of Tibet'. It's a pity that some Western countries always are often biased toward Tibet," said Shi Weiqiang. "I hope more Western people and scholars will come to Tibet and see the truth by themselves."

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