Tibet Before 1959 VS. Tibet After 1959
As is known to all, before 1959, the theocratic slavery system still prevailed in Tibet, where Dalai Lama was the political and religious leader of the Tibetans. Tibet before 1959 was quite similar to the slavery society in Medieval Europe. The Tibetan nobles, bureaucrats, and upper-class monks, making up only about 5 percent of the whole Tibetan population, owned all the arable land, pasture, forests, and most of the livestock in Tibet. They were the dictators having absolute power over the common Tibetans, who were either serfs or slaves. The dictators were free to buy and sell, slaughter and abuse the serfs and slaves. They used cruel torture instruments. Many serfs and slaves had their eyes gouged out. Many had their leg tendons cut off. Many starved to death. The Tibetans had nothing except religion. In 1959, social reform took place in Tibet under the rule of the central government and the cruel slavery system was finally abolished. With the establishment of Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965, the Tibetans were given freedom and political right to participate in the governing of Tibet. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China declares clearly and definitely that the Tibetans deserve not only full civil, political rights and religious freedom but also privileges for autonomous region citizens. For example, the majority officials of Tibet Autonomous Region Government are Tibetans and the Tibetan students and students from other autonomous regions can get extra points added to their examination marks in the Entrance Examination. Since 1980, the central government has put more than 0.3 billion RMB in restoring and protecting temples in Tibet such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple. Now there are more than 1787 temples in Tibet. Tibetan culture is well protected and promoted to the world due to the flourishing tourism. And comprehensive infrastructure system such as railways, highways, schools, airports, power stations, has been built, which improves the living standard of the Tibetans. Currently, Tibet has two civil airports, 401 power stations and 22,500 miles of highways. The famous Qinghai-Tibet Railway was finished in 2006. The total fiscal subsidies for Tibet from 1952 to 2001 amount to 56.9 billion Yuan. In 2001, GDP of Tibet amounts to 13.78 billion, which is 35.5 times more than that in 1952. To develop education in Tibet, the central government has adopted a series of preferential policies. For example, the Tibetan students are free of charge to get educated from primary schools to universities. The above information clearly reveals that Tibet has got great development since 1959.
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