China’s Xinhua News agency didn’t exactly ignore today’s 50th anniversary. It was briefly mentioned in an otherwise rosy travelogue:
LHASA, March 10 (Xinhua) — Norbu Lingka, in western Lhasa, was the last residence for the 14th Dalai Lama before he started his life in exile following a failed armed rebellion in 1959.
Traces of the turmoil have faded over the past five decades in the fast-changing Tibet and can hardly be spotted in the tranquility of early spring in the garden park.
And buried somewhere near the end:
Fifty yeas ago, the upper ruling class in Tibet staged an armed rebellion to preserve serfdom and theocracy and the Norbu Lingka was the location of the rebellion headquarters.
And China Daily gives us this when China on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of a proposed US congressional resolution on Tibet:
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of end of feudal serfdom in Tibet, Ma said,”The democratic reforms are the widest, most profound and most comprehensive social reforms in Tibetan history, blazing a new path for Tibet’s prosperity.”
In March 1959, the Chinese government dissolved the aristocratic local government of Tibet and freed more than 1 million serfs.
“Over the past 50 years, Tibet has undergone profound changes in the political, economic and cultural sectors and the millions of serfs have become the new owners of Tibet,” Ma said.
So everything there is great – right?