People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
50th Anniversary of Tibetan Liberation Celebrated
THE fiftieth anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet was held at New Delhi on June 5 at A K Gopalan Bhawan in which several prominent leaders participated. The large gathering was addressed, among others, by CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet, CPI general Secretary A B Bardhan, Devarajan of the Forward Bloc and the Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of Chinas to India who delighted everyone by speaking in good Hindi before switching over to English.
Addressing the audience, Harkishan Singh Surjeet complimented the people of Tibet for the progress made in the last 50 years of liberation. He said the people of Tibet had made considerable progress and there was all-round development. The Chinese government was also complimented for the development it had undertaken in Tibet. Surjeet said the developed world had been misleading the people by being critical of the progress of the common masses of Tibet. In fact the underprivileged had seen a remarkable progress in a very difficult terrain and atmosphere. Surjeet was critical of the people who doubted Tibet being a part of China. He said if Tibet had not been liberated the region would never have made the remarkable progress that it has. Inspite of all propaganda against China, the fact is that the people of Tibet had cooperated with the Chinese government after their liberation in 1951 which fact had led to full development of the area.
In his short speech, Bardhan highlighted the fact that the life expectancy in Tibet had gone up to over 65 years from 36 years in 1950. This in itself showed that the peoples life standard had improved and they were better off. He criticised the double standards of the NDA government where the government had one stand on Tibet being an integral part of China while the former defence minister George Fernandes spoke of Tibets independence.
Devarajan said the coming together of Tibet and China is a fact of life and had been done in the 13th centaury. There was now no need to go over it again and again.
Speaking in Hindi, the Chinese ambassador complimented the CPI(M) for having organised this function and thanked all the important leaders present. He said Tibet is today an autonomous territory where the Chinese central government had invested large sums of money for all-round development. There was total religious freedom in the region. All people were allowed to perform their religious practices and hold Buddhist beliefs.
The ambassador said the Chinese central covernment had carried democratic reforms in Tibet in 1959 which changed the life of 95per cent of the population. These former serfs are now masters of their own destination and the entire class, who had earlier lived in abject poverty, is now well off. At the time of the liberation, 5 per cent of the Lamas controlled 90 per cent of all land and 80 per cent of the social wealth. Today the rural income per person has gone up to over 1100 yuan in Tibet; the urban per capita income is over 5000 yuan.
The ambassador said the signing of the 17-article agreement on the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951 was an epoch-making turning point in the history of Tibet. This had brought in stability, unity and a transformation from poverty to prosperity, from isolation to openness.
He said even the Buddhist monasteries were being improved. There was no tax in Tibet. The central government has invested over 441 billion yuan in Tibet for its all-around development.
The Chinese ambassador looked forward to better relationships with India.
Proposing the vote of thanks, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury thanked all present and the Chinese delegation for have participated in the function. He pointed out that the Tibetans had improved their standard of living and that the life in Tibet was much easier than it could be otherwise because of the difficult physical conditions there. He looked forward to a closer relationship between China and India. (INN)