News in Brief
Completion of the Final Draft of the "Nagchu Local Annals"
In March, the first draft of the "Nagchu Local Annals" was completed through the efforts of writers and editors. Having undergone extensive consultation, the final draft now includes 99 chapters in 22 parts, with over 1.4 million characters. By the end of August the manuscript had already passed primary evaluation.
Photographic Exhibition of Wildlife in Train of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway
From August 20th to 23rd, wildlife from the western part of China was the subject of a photographic exhibition held in the compartments of the trains T27/28 leaving Beijing for Lhasa. The China Railway Ministry, in cooperation with the State Forestry Administrative Bureau and the Chinese Wildlife Protection Association, organized the exhibition. In total, fifty images of rare fauna and their environment, taken by famous photographers, such as Xi Zhinong and Luo Xiaoyun, were exhibited.
Renovation of the Potala Palace Frescos Accomplished
In early September the renovation of frescos in the Potala Palace was completed by the Dunhuang Research Institute of China. Over 2000 sq. metres of frescos eroded by worms were restored. The renovation of the Norbulingka fresco, one of the three key cultural renovation sites in Tibet, was completed in April 2006, involved the restoration of 698 sq. metres of worm-damaged fresco. The fresco in the Sakya Monastery is still under renovation. Over 1000 sq. metres of fresco in this monastery have been renovated, accounting for half of the total renovation of the Sakya Monastery.
A National Reserve, Zhada Clay Forest, is Opened
On September 22nd, Zhada Forest, a national reserve in Ngari Prefecture of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was opened. Zhada Clay Forest, formed by water erosion, covers 2464 sq. metres and is the world's biggest clay forest.
Tibetan Television Station Inaugurated 24 Hours Satellite Service
On October 1st, the Tibetan television station inaugurated a 24-hour satellite service of broadcasting in Tibetan language. It is the first satellite television service in China broadcasting in the language of an ethnic group (Tibetan) to provide a 24-hour service.
Breakthrough in Computer Technology for Using the Tibetan Language
After two years of work, the Beijing Founder Electronics Ltd. Co, cooperating with other institutions, has successfully developed a new and advanced computer application to facilitate desktop publication and word processing in Tibetan. The development also includes new Windows tools for browsers and the design of websites in the Tibetan language.
Seminar on Tibetan Medicine and Pharmacology
On September 14th of 2007, a seminar on Tibetan medicine and pharmacology was held in Lhasa. Scholars from the Tibetan Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, Inner Mongolia and Guangxi, presented 180 papers. Over 200 participants from these provinces took part in this seminar.
TAR Provides Basic Health Care Insurance for Urban Residents
From October 1st onward, the Tibetan Autonomous Region implemented a basic health care insurance system throughout the region. Under this system, 200 Yuan per resident annually enables a maximum 20,000-Yuan health care insurance. Each individual only pays 60 Yuan out of the total 200 Yuan, the rest (140 Yuan) is paid by governments, both national and local.
Tian Jiabing Funds a Normal College for the Tibet University
Tian Jiabing, a famous Chinese philanthropist, donated three million Hong Kong dollars to Tibet University to build a Normal College. On September 17th, the college was opened and students moved in after over a year of construction and preparation from June of 2005. The college will provide 12 specialized subjects for full-time students at university level, focusing on normal education. The subjects include Tibetan literature, history, and Chinese literature. At present, there are over 1000 full-time students.
Tibet Hosts the Third Millionth Tourist in 2007
At nine o'clock on September 20th of 2007, the train T164 coming from Shanghai arrived at Lhasa. Ms. Ni Na was the tourist number three million to visit Tibet. She was greeted with flowers and Hada.
The Second Land Survey in TAR Begins
On September 20th, 2007, the TAR launched its second land survey, to be completed in 2009. The State Land and Resource Administration Department sent a professional team to assist locals in the survey of land usage in the TAR. The preliminary surveys of agricultural land, land jurisdiction, urban and rural land are going to be undertaken by the TAR itself.
The Biggest Group of Icebergs in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Discovered in Nyingchi
According to photos taken from a satellite, this group contains a total of 42 icebergs. Two icebergs of the three largest ocean icebergs in China are also found in Pome of Nyingchi. The icebergs of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau cover 50,000 sq. metres, mainly scattered amongst Mt. Kunlun and the Himalayas. Over the last 100 years, the area covered by icebergs in the plateau has declined by 30 percent.
Construction of a Goods Transmitting Centre in TAR
On September 28th, the ground was broken for the construction of the Nagchu Goods Transmitting Centre beside the railway at Nagchu Railway Station, with a total planned investment of 1.5 billion Yuan. An area of 534 ha. has been allocated on both sides of Nagchu Station, 4500 metres above sea level. The construction will take about 15 months to complete. In 2007, the goods transmitted through this center reached 600,000 tons, and it is predicted to reach 2.23 million tons by 2015, and 3.1 million tons by 2020.
Construction of a Major Outlet from West Lhasa Railway Station
At the end of September, Lhasa Municipality's construction project for the Liu Dong Road was launched. The total length of the road was 2,546 kilometres. With a cost of 92.65 million Yuan, the project includes construction of a road and bridge across Todlung River, water drainage, a lighting system and environmental reforestation.
Tibetans Build a Reception Centre for Overseas Pilgrims
In order to facilitate pilgrims from overseas to pay homage to Mountain Gang Rinpoche(Kailas in India), three Tibetan tourist agencies have set up a reception centre especially to provide a service for pilgrims from overseas - such as India and Nepal. Last year, the centre hosted over 2000 pilgrims from different countries.