Mail Online | September 8, 2015
The enormous square outside Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, became the setting of a parade that thousands attended earlier today.
It was part of the celebrations by China’s Communist Park to mark the 50th anniversary of the autonomous region, reported People’s Daily Online.
This parade came less than a week after the country’s much-publicised V-Day parades, which took place in Beijing on September 3.
6,000 people were expected to be part of the parade. Chinese media also anticipated that 20,000 people from all over Tibet would be attending the celebrations.
Photographs from the event showed thousands of people sitting outside in the sun.
They were either wearing uniforms or colourful ethnic outfits.
Everyone in the audience at the event was holding a national flag of the People’s Republic of China as well as a flag designating 50 years of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
There was a strong patriotic stance, where China featured prominently. All of the paraphernalia was in both Chinese and Tibetan.
One float had a banner that said ‘forever following the Communist Party’.
Another had the slogan ‘strengthen ethnic unity, build beautiful Tibet’ emblazoned on the front.
The parades also featured marching bands and military troops.
China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng attended the celebration with 65 central government officials.
At the celebrations, he stressed the point of unity.
Yu Zhengsheng also revealed that the central government will continue to push the region’s economic growth as well as basic education.
While addressing what’s referred to as the separatist movement in Tibet, Yu Zhengsheng said that contentious issues in the region will be addressed within the legal framework.
Tibet has long been contentious subject for the Communist Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Although China has declared Tibet an autonomous region since 1965, dissidents on the issue have always proclaimed its independence.
Tibetans signed an agreement declaring China’s sovereignty over Tibet as long as it was led by the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism.
After a failed attempt to overthrow China’s hold on the region in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled to India while China declared Tibet as an autonomous region.
The 14th Dalai Lama, who has just turned 80, hasn’t issued a statement over China’s Tibet celebrations. He is currently teaching in India and is expected to be in London later this month for a series of public talks.
However, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of the Tibetan people according to Tibet.net said: ‘There is nothing to celebrate in Tibet. Tibet is still under occupation and Tibetans are still brutally repressed.’
The celebrations in Tibet are considerably smaller than the much-publicised V-Day parades last week where 12,000 troops formed the parade.
Preparations for the V-Day parades started more than a year ago and Chinese citizens were given a public holiday for the event.