China’s plan to observe ‘Serf Emancipation Day’ condemned
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile passed a resolution, condemning China’s plans to observe Saturday as ‘Serf Emancipation Day’ to celebrate the escape of the Dalai Lama from Lhasa on March 17, 1959, Gaurav Bisht reports.Updated: Mar 28, 2009 01:58 IST
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile on Friday passed a resolution, condemning China’s plans to observe Saturday as ‘Serf Emancipation Day’ to celebrate the escape of the Dalai Lama from Lhasa on March 17, 1959. China claims that they had liberated the region from feudalism.
Dolma Gyari, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, said, “Tibetans inside Tibet are being forced to celebrate the so-called Serf Emancipation Day.”
Tsering Kyi Taklha, minister for information and international relations of the Tibetan government in exile, said, “We believe the observance of ‘Serf Emancipation Day’ is aimed at destabilising Tibet even more by a few individuals with overriding self-interest.”
The Tibetan government feared that it could escalate the tension in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, as there are reports of Tibetans taking to streets against Chinese rule. It also expressed concern over the military build-up in the region, which has been witnessing violent protests by the Tibetans.
Taklha said China’s justification for occupying Tibet was that the old Tibetan society was feudal and repressive in nature. She said this was a blatant distortion of facts, asking, “If the ‘serfs are happy now with their emancipation”, why are they risking their lives to stage protests against the Chinese rule in Tibet?
Claiming that the Tibetan peasants enjoyed more freedom and better living conditions than their counterparts in China, she said, “The size of Nangze Shar prison in Lhasa, which has been heavily used by the Chinese government in its propaganda materials, could accommodate not more than a score of prisoners.”
First Published: Mar 28, 2009 01:54 IST