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Legislator criticizes Dalai Lama group as Tibet sets "Serfs Emancipation Day"

January 20, 2009

    LHASA, Jan. 19, 2009 (Xinhua) -- A senior legislator in Tibet criticized the associates of the Dalai Lama Monday for their alleged secessionist activities and attempts to restore feudal serfdom in the region.
 
    The remarks came just after the local legislature endorsed a bill to designate March 28 as an annual Serfs Emancipation Day to mark the date on which about 1 million serfs in the region were freed 50 years ago.
 
    "The setting of 'Serfs Emancipation Day' is a significant move to fight against the Dalai clique," said Karma, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Regional People's Congress, the legislative body, at a press conference.
 
    "Since the Dalai Lama and his supporters failed in an armed rebellion and fled abroad 50 years ago, they have been dreaming of restoring the reactionary, dark, barbarian and backward feudal serfdom in Tibet, and they have never stopped activities to split the motherland and undermine ethnic unity," she said.
 
    "After the March 14 riot in Lhasa last year, the Tibetan people acquired a deeper understanding of the reactionary nature of the Dalai clique," she said.
 
    The violent riot resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman. It also left 382 civilians and 241 police officers injured, businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched.
 
    On Monday, 382 lawmakers attending the annual session of the local legislature unanimously voted for the proposal to establish "Serfs Emancipation Day".
 
    "The setting of 'Serfs Emancipation Day' is an aspiration and demand by people of all ethnic groups in Tibet," Karma said.
 
    On March 28, 1959, the central government announced it would dissolve the aristocratic local government of Tibet and replace it with a preparatory committee for establishing the Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
    The move came after the central government foiled an armed rebellion staged by the Dalai Lama and his supporters, most of whom were allegedly slave owners attempting to maintain serfdom.
 
    That meant the end of serfdom and the abolition of the hierarchic social system characterized by theocracy under the Dalai Lama. About 1 million serfs and slaves, 90 percent of Tibet's population, were freed.
 
    "The younger generation in Tibet may know little about history, so we need to tell them about the bitter past, remember the historic occasion and more cherish today's hard-won happiness," Karma said.
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