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In 1953, the greater part of the rural population -- some 700,000 of an estimated total population of 1,250,000 -- were serfs. Tied to the land, they were allotted only a small parcel to grow their own food. Serfs and other peasants generally went without schooling or medical care. They spent most of their time laboring for the monasteries and individual high-ranking lamas, or for a secular aristocracy that numbered not more than 200 wealthy families. In effect, they were owned by their masters who told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. A serf might easily be separated from his family should the owner send him to work in a distant location. Serfs could be sold by their masters, or subjected to torture and death.

This text is full of blatant lies, just check serious academic books I recommended earlier. Especially this paragraph is outrageous.

Why, I can explain - in pre-Chinese invasion Tibet there was staggering amount of monks. Of course monks did not produce food or cloth or whatever they need for life. Monasteries were biggest feudals (according to Marxist and European point of view) having lots of so-called serfs. Yet these serfs had to provide food, tea, cloth and other items for special religious ceremonies mainly.

Monasteries paid their monks meagre sums which were not sufficient for their survival but monks could participate in as many as possible religious ceremonies where they could eat and drink tea. Thus monasteries managed to oblige monks to perform their duties otherwise there were no ways to do this and to get rid of useless or lazy monks (monks could be expelled from monasteries only if they committed murder or had sex).

Of course there were rich bureaucratic or aristocratic families but their holdings were much smaller than monasteries and in stead they had to work for state for free (without salary). If aristocratic family failed to produce clerks their holdings were forfeited and confiscated.

It's just amazing how much lies about Tibet Chinese dessiminated while more amazing is readiness to absorb these lies.

by FarEasterner on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 08:15:33 AM EST
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