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Emancipated serfs sing for achievements in Tibet

By Source:China Tibet Online 2015-03-20

The spring of 54 years ago was an eventful time for Tibet. An unprecedented scale of abolition movement swept across the ancient holy land, where a wave of democratic reform had awakened the serfs.

Almost overnight, the serfs had shifted their status from the previous "talking animals" to free citizens with families, assets and dignity.

About one million serfs and slaves were thus freed and became the masters of their own, including beggars in the open streets, blacksmiths of the Barkhor Street, nangzan (hereditary household slaves) in the Three Rivers Sources, as well as the poverty-stricken herdsmen living in the ChangTang grassland.

Now, half a century has passed since the event, and great changes have taken place in Tibet, which extraordinary highlights that special spring.

The changing infrastructure in Tibet can tell clearly the big differences between the old and present days.

"The path was exactly as narrow and winding as a sheep's intestines, and people could travel only with scaling ladders, ropeways and single-log bridges." the widely circulating folk saying vividly portrayed the poor transport in old Tibet.

There were no roads in old Tibet, and the official dispatches were delivered through courier stations. No bridges were opened over the Yarlung Zangbo River, and it took one more than two months traveling from Kangding, a city in SW China's Sichuan province to Lhasa.

The liberation of Tibet marked the end of that wretched living condition. Since that historic moment of liberation, the central government of new China has always attached great importance to the infrastructure construction of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

In the course of modernization, especially since the implementation of the Western Development strategy, the infrastructure construction in Tibet has leaped into a new stage.


Talking about the accomplished asphalt road in his hometown, Lhakpa Tsering, a resident from Jiama Township, Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa said proudly "there were only dirt roads in our village in the past, and it was inconvenient for villagers to travel. The asphalt road completed four years ago makes our traveling much enjoyable and convenient".

The construction of asphalt road in Jiama Township is just a small microcosm that mirrors the improved infrastructure in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

After 60 years of unremitting efforts, the direct-current networking project has been put into operation, ending a history that there was only isolated power grid in Tibet; the expressway linking Lhasa to the Gonggar Airport has been opened, rewriting the history that there were no high-grade highways in Tibet.

Now, a highway network centering around Lhasa has been completed. There are five airports in Tibet, namely the Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport, Nyingchi Airport, Ngari Gunsa Airport and Shigatse Heping Airport.

At present, a three-dimensional transport network of highways, railways and aviation has been established on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and ropeways, the traditional travelling tool have been withdrawn from the historical stage.

The improved infrastructure brings modernity and convenience to Tibetans'life. It not only shortens the distance between the snowy plateau to inland provinces, but also boosts the comprehensive, rapid and healthy development of the regional economy and society.

"The asphalt roads have carried more tourists here. Now, the villagers are living on tourism, and they can even save tens of thousands yuan every year," said Lhakpa Tsering.

The big contrast between the past misery and the present happiness make people cherish the good times today. Thanks to preferential policies of the central government, Tibetan people have embarked on the road of getting prosperous.

In the eyes of Lhakpa Tsering, in old Tibet, what one could leave were only his own footprints while what one could take away were only his shadows. Now, the Tibetan people are living a happy life and there is every reason for them to sing joyfully and proudly for the current life.

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