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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Tibet marks emancipation of serfs

(Xinhua)

09:20, March 29, 2012

LHASA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Residents of southwest China's Tibet autonomous region on Wednesday marked the emancipation of 1 million serfs when the theocratic rule in Tibet was abolished in 1959.

Thousands of people gathered in Potala Square in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in the morning. Local residents, monks, students and soldiers sang the national anthem as they watched the red flag of the People's Republic of China rise before the imposing Potala Palace.

Authorities designated March 28 as the day to commemorate the 1959 democratic reform in Tibet, which ended the feudal serf system, freeing about 1 million Tibetan, over 90 percent of the region's population at the time, from a life of serfdom.

"I feel excited about the day," said Nyma Choling, 68, who added that he was born a serf and, and without the abolishment of serfdom, he would not be able to enjoy the good life he has today.

Government officials said that after the democratic reform, Tibet has achieved all-around economic and social growth and people from all ethnic groups in Tibet benefit from the reform.

"Over the past 53 years, marvelous changes have taken place in Tibet. History has proven that today's Tibet would not exist without the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)," said Lhasa's top official Qizala, secretary of the CPC Lhasa municipal committee.

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