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

China Applauds Itself Ahead of New Tibetan Holiday

March 29, 2009

By Stephanie Ho
Voice of America
March 27, 2009

Beijing -- On the eve of a government-declared
holiday to celebrate 50 years of Chinese
Communist rule in Tibet, Chinese officials are
emphasizing the material improvements made in the lives of ordinary Tibetans.

The Chinese government is applauding itself for
overturning Tibet's feudal hierarchy 50 years ago.

In 1959, Tibet's top spiritual leader, the Dalai
Lama, fled his homeland and Beijing crushed a
failed uprising against Chinese rule. China says
this is when it brought democratic reform to
Tibet, and it is celebrating the event Saturday
with a new holiday called "Serf Emancipation Day."

Senior Communist Party leaders and former Tibetan
serfs gathered Friday in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Gyaltsen Norbu, the young man Beijing installed
as Tibet's second highest-ranking spiritual
leader, the Panchen Lama, spoke in Tibetan when he gave his upbeat assessment.

He says the lives of the masses are moving
towards wealth and civilization, and the Tibetan
future is as bright as the endless light of the golden sun.

The Beijing-appointed Panchen Lama switched to
Mandarin Chinese, though, when he spoke of how
Tibet's ethnic, cultural and religious freedoms are protected by Chinese law.

He says only under the leadership of the Chinese
Communist Party can Tibet enjoy the development
and prosperity it has today, and have such a bright future.

The chairman of China's main government advisory
body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference, Jia Qinglin, promised that development in Tibet will continue.

Jia says China should make big efforts to promote
what he described as the "leaping forward" of
development in Tibet. He said development is the
foundation for solving all of Tibet's problems.

This point was made clear in a Chinese-government
circulated video, called "A Perspective of the
Lhasa Riot," which presents Beijing's view of
last year's anti-Chinese violence in the Tibetan capital.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang
brought out the DVD at a regular briefing Thursday.

Qin says he takes note of a separate controversy,
in which a video of Chinese police brutality
against Tibetans in custody was posted on the
Internet. He dismissed the other video, but waved
the Chinese DVD in front of foreign reporters and
challenged them to have their news agencies run the Chinese version online.

The controversial video of Chinese police
brutality against Tibetans was recently posted on
the website YouTube, which subsequently became inaccessible in China.

Despite the Chinese government's attempts at
painting a completely rosy picture of life in
Tibet, authorities have also stepped up security
there, to try to prevent any unrest.

One monk, whose identity has been withheld for his own safety, is worried.

He says monks are afraid, and he is afraid. He
says they are afraid of the situation, which he describes as very tense.

The Chinese government repeatedly criticizes
foreign journalists for distorted reporting about
Tibet. At the same time, Beijing has made it
nearly impossible for foreign reporters to go
there. And authorities recently have even been
stopping foreign reporters from visiting Tibetan
areas outside of Tibet that Chinese regulations say are open.

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