By destroying the vestiges of Tibetan culture, the Chinese government hopes to destroy any hopes of the continuation of the Tibetan way of life. The Tibetan people are largely defined by their religion. One of the holiest places of Tibetan Buddhism is the Jokhang Temple, which is one of the oldest standing structures in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. It was declared a UN World Heritage Site in 2000. The temple has been standing since the year 642.
The Chinese government is planning to destroy the Jokhang Temple, along with the Barkor, which is the entire ethnic Tibetan neighborhood in which it resides. In its place, the Chinese government plans to build new office buildings and shopping malls. Imagine if the Italian government decided to destroy the Vatican to put in high-rises; the effect will be much the same.
The Tibetan community wants co-existence, not independence. By destroying the Johkang Temple and the Barkor, the Chinese government is committing an "ethnic cleansing." Please do not stand aside while they do so. Let them know that destroying any culture is wrong, and that the loss of the Tibetan culture would be a great one. Furthermore, if the Chinese are willing to destroy such an important cultural center in their own country, it will cause other nations to wonder what the Chinese mean when they ask for "harmony" in their dealing.
For more info, please read http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/3382-china-destroys-the-ancient-buddhist-symbols-of-lhasa-city-in-tibet
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