IN celebration of the 30th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, which fell on May 23, various activities were held for several days running in Beijing and Lhasa.
On the morning of May 23, the Department of United Front Work and the Propaganda Department of the C.P.C. Central Committee and three other organizations jointly sponsored a meeting to mark the occasion in Beijing.
Ulanhu, Director of the Department of United Front Work, extended his congratulations and greetings to the people of Tibet and the Tibetan compatriots in Beijing on behalf of the C.P.C. Central Committee, the N.P.C. Standing Committee and the State Council.
Li Weihan, chief representative of the Central People's Government in the 1951 negotiation with the former local government of Tibet, and Bainqen Erdini Qoigyi Gyaincain, Vice-Chairman of the N.P.C. Standing Committee, spoke at the meeting. Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Vice-Chairman of the N.P.C. Standing Committee and Chairman of the People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region, prepared a written speech as he was in Lhasa to take part in the celebrations there (see pp. 15-19 for excerpts from his speech).
In his speech, Li Weihan recalled and analysed the historical development of Tibet and of the relationship between the Han and Tibetan nationalities. He said the agreement on the peaceful liberation of Tibet was an inevitable product of the development of Tibet's history and the history of the relationship between Tibet and the motherland. In the course of implementing the agreement, there have been complicated and tortuous struggles, but the basic principles of the agreement, he said, have stood the test of history.
Speaking about the basic principle of developing the revolutionary patriotic united front, Li Weihan said; "We cannot but think of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan com- patriots abroad. We are greatly concerned about their plight. Our policy has always been that all patriots belong to one family, whether they rally to the common cause early or late. The door of the motherland is always open to those whose hearts are with the motherland."
Bainqen Erdini Qoigyi Gyaincain pointed out that the basic principles as expressed in the 17-article agreement are still of great practical significance today under the new historical conditions. These principles include: laying stress on the unification of the motherland and unity among all nationalities; giving full consideration to the characteristics of Tibet and proceeding from the actual conditions in Tibet in all realms of work; earnestly carrying out the Party's policy towards nationalities and the regional national autonomy and really enabling the people of Tibet to become their own masters; conscientiously carrying out the Party's policy on religion and ensuring the people's freedom of religious belief.
At a meeting held on May 21 in Lhasa. Yin Fatang, First Secretary of the Party Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in his report that the agreement signed 30 years ago in Beijing was an important document of epoch-making significance in the history of the Tibetan nationality and the history of the relationship between Tibet and the motherland. It opened a great new era in which the Tibetan nationality emerged from darkness and misery and marched into brightness and happiness.
On the evening of May 22, more than 1,600 representatives of various nationalities from all walks of life attended a meeting in Lhasa, in which Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme delivered a speech.
Three art troupes from Beijing, Yunnan and Sichuan travelled to Lhasa to give a week of performances. Local groups also performed for the occasion.
During the celebrations, 20 feature films, documentaries and science and educational films were shown. On May 15, the Lhasa TV station began a month-long special programme.
On May 23, tens of thousands of people in Lhasa went to Norbu Lingka, Longwangtan Park and the Lhasa Cultural Palace to celebrate the occasion.
(This article appears on page 18, No. 22, 1981)