Serfs' Emancipation Day for Tibet





China has declared a new annual holiday in Tibet called Serfs' Emancipation Day, to mark the end of what it says was a system of feudal oppression.

The local parliament in Tibet has passed a bill which declares 28 March as the new holiday.

The announcement comes in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the escape into exile of the Dalai Lama.

It was on March 28th 1959 that the Communist Party announced the dissolution of the existing local government in Tibet - following the Dalai Lama's escape a few days' beforehand.

China says that this move freed about one million Tibetans from serfdom and slavery.

But Tibetan groups in exile see it all very differently. For them, the events of March 1959 and the exile of the Dalai Lama from his homeland were a tragedy.


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