Peking — Some 200 Chinese officials bearing gifts of silk, tea and electric clocks gathered in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Friday to celebrate the “Roof of the World’s” 20thion of China.
Festivities Sunday will climax a nationwide propaganda blitz hailing Tibet’s progress under communism in everything from barley production to Buddhism.
A 200member Communist Party delegation headed by Central Committee member Hu Qili traveled to Lhasa earlier this week for the ceremonies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The emissaries, bearing tea, silk and electric clocks, were greeted by more than 25,000 Tibetans “dressed in their Sunday best,” and 400 Buddhist priests wearing dark purple robes.
The celebrations will mark the Sept. 1, 1965, establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region — one of five such areas in China where ethnic minorities are given autonomy.
Communist troops marched into Tibet in 1950 to assert Peking’s traditional claim that the windswept Himalayan plateau is part of China. In three decades since “liberation,” however, Chinese rule has often been less than enlightened.
Tibetan dissidents, including the exiled Dalai Lama, claim at least 1.2 million people have died, many of starvation.
Tens of India.
Tibet is still recovering from the 196676 Cultural Revolution, when radical Red Guards looted, burned or closed ancient Buddhist monasteries and destroyed priceless relics.
Tens of thousands of Han Chinese China’s ethnic majority have been sent to settle in Tibet and are believed to vastly outnumber Tibetans. .
Peking says it made “serious mistakes” in Tibet and is attempting to make amends. It cites the rebuilding of temples, resumption of Buddhist rites and other cultural practices and economic gains from reforms instituted by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.
A Tibetan official was quoted as saying the government has appropriated $2.82 billion to Tibet since 1952. But the so-called “le rich” in regions, with an average per capita income of $102 in 1983.
Article extracted from this publication >> September 6, 1985