January 19, 2009 / 3:43 AM / 9 years ago

China approves "Serfs' Emancipation Day" in Tibet

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Monday approved an annual “Serfs’ Emancipation Day” holiday in Tibet, 50 years after a failed uprising against Chinese rule by the region’s Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

The holiday, to be celebrated each March 28, was formally proposed last week and approved by the region’s legislature.

“On March 28, 1959, Tibetan serfs and slaves, who accounted for more than 90 percent of the region’s population, were freed after the central government foiled an armed rebellion staged by the Dalai Lama and his supporters,” Xinhua news agency said.

China denounces the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, as a separatist and accuses him of inciting deadly protests in the region in March. The Dalai Lama denies the charges and says he is seeking autonomy for Tibet.

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