In the run-up to the Beijing Olympic Games last year, I joined several foreign journalists to visit Tibet to cover the news. After flying from Beijing to Xining, we took a train and traveled along the "road to heaven," as sung in the song, to Lhasa.
In the vigorous city of Lhasa, tradition and modernity coexisted harmoniously. Local people devotedly offered incense in temples, while in front of shops was an endless stream of tourists and people hastily going to and leaving work. This was completely different from the negative reports I had read.
Some Tibetans said the reason why Tibet could develop so rapidly was closely tied to the central government's strong support. They also told me that as Chinese citizens, their expectations for the Olympic Games and their prayers for the Games to be smoothly held in Beijing was everyone's common wish.
On the road trip from Lhasa to Nyingchi, the foreign journalists were astonished by the beautiful natural scenery on both sides of the road and how convenient traffic was on the way. Tibet cannot remain forever in the stage of a backwards society, and a trend of progress and development is inevitable.
All Tibetans desire a bright life, and will not allow Tibet to be held back. The lack of railways, highways and high-rise buildings on the contrary does not represent protection of traditional culture.
Not all people who hope to understand more about Tibet have a chance to visit there. As a reporter, it is my duty to tell the truth and facts to readers.
By Pranay Sharma, Associate Foreign Editor of the Indian magazine, “Outlook,” on March 2 in New Delhi
People's Daily Online