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UPDATED: January 12, 2009
Tibet to Set 'Serf Liberation Day'

Tibet is expected to set a date for the commemoration of emancipation of millions of serfs and slaves 50 years ago after the central government foiled an attempted armed rebellion led by the Dalai Lama and his aristocratic supporters, a regional official said on Saturday evening.

The holiday will be decided on by the 2nd annual session of the 9th Tibet Regional People's Congress to be held from Jan. 14 to Jan. 19, said Pang Boyong, deputy secretary-general of the regional congress standing committee.

The bill set forth by the Standing Committee of the regional people's congress is aimed at "reminding all the Chinese people, including Tibetans, of the landmark democratic reform initiated 50 years ago," he said.

"Since then, millions of slaves under the feudal serfdom became masters of their own," he said.

Enormous changes have taken place in the past 50 years, Pang said while criticizing the Dalai Lama and his supporters for sabotaging the system of regional autonomy implemented in Tibet and their engagement in splittist activities.

"They are against the will of the Tibetan people and running against the historical trend of progress in this region," he said.

On March 10, 1959, the Dalai Lama and his supporters in the upper ruling class staged an armed rebellion against the central government with assistance from some western powers.

The People's Liberation Army swiftly quelled the rebellion and later introduced a democratic reform to overthrew the feudal serfdom and abolished its hierarchic social system characterized by theocracy.

(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2009)

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