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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibet to mark suppression of Dalai Lama-led rebellion: China

January 20, 2009

BEIJING 19 Jan 2009 (AFP) — China announced on Monday that Tibet would each year have a special day to celebrate the Chinese military's crushing of a Dalai Lama-led rebellion and the "freeing of slaves" 50 years ago.
 
The Himalayan region's parliament unanimously approved the motion to make every March 28 "Serf Emancipation Day," the official Xinhua news agency reported.
 
"On March 28, 1959, Tibetan serfs and slaves, who accounted for more than 90 percent of the region's population, were freed after the central government foiled an armed rebellion staged by the Dalai Lama and his supporters," Xinhua said.
 
The new day is sure to stoke controversy as communist China's versions of recent Tibetan history are markedly different from those of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, and his supporters.
 
China has ruled Tibet since 1951, after sending in troops into the Himalayan region the previous year.
 
China has long maintained that its rule ended a Buddhist theocracy that enslaved all but the religious elite, and that it allowed ordinary Tibetans to enjoy political autonomy.
 
However many Tibetans insist they never wanted to be ruled by China, and they rose up in March 1959 in a failed effort to kick the Chinese out.
 
The uprising was quashed with deadly force and led to the Dalai Lama fleeing his homeland.
 
The Dalai Lama and many other Tibetans complain that the region's people have since suffered widespread political and religious repression under Chinese rule.
 
It was not immediately clear on Monday whether "Serf Emancipation Day" would just be a commemorative day or a public holiday in Tibet.
 
An official with the Tibet government's information office, who refused to be named, said he did not know the details.
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