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Special> China's Tibet: Facts & Figures> Latest
UPDATED: March 29, 2010
51st Anniversary of Emancipation of Tibetan Serfs Marked
Flag raising ceremonies mark 51st anniversary of emancipation of Tibetan serfs

Flag raising ceremonies were held across Tibet Autonomous Region Sunday to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the emancipation of serfs.

The national flag was hoisted against the backdrop of the grand Potala Palace at about 10 a.m. as more than 3,000 representatives from all walks of life sang the national anthem.

"There is an overt contrast between today's equality among Tibetan people and the old Tibet where human rights were bloodily abused," said Party chief in Lhasa, Qin Yizhi, after the flag was raised.

"The democratic reform abolished serfdom and allowed Tibetan people to enjoy legal rights and interests. We held the ceremony here in an effort to remember the past, cherish the present and work for the future," he said at the ceremony that lasted about 20 minutes.

Tibet holds flag hoisting ceremonies only on significant festivals and occasions such as the National Day and the Tibetan new year. At other times, the national flag flies high in the square.

Many organizations, companies, schools, residential communities and individuals in both cities and rural areas joined in the flag raising Sunday morning.

For centenarian Cering Qoezhoen, raising the national flag has been a daily habit for the past 45 years.

"I just want to express my sincere gratitude to the communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army in this way," said Cering Qoezhoen who was a porter serf when she was young.

China designated March 28 as annual Serfs Emancipation Day last year to mark the date on which about 1 million serfs in the region, accounting for more than 90 percent of the Tibetan population, were freed in 1959.

Since then, Tibetans have achieved remarkable development and no reactionary forces can block Tibet's progress, said Padma Choling, chairman of Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, on Saturday.

"The Tibetans cherish the hard-won, happy and stable life and will steadfastly safeguard social stability, ethic unity and national unity. Any attempt to separate Tibet from China is doomed to failure," he said while delivering a televised speech.

(Xinhua News Agency March 28, 2010)

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