(TibetanReview.net, Jul11’19) – Ten years ago, Tibet’s capital Lhasa was a city of 100,000 Chinese, 50,000 Tibetans and 20,000 sex workers. Now, the population and infrastructure in the city has grown by 500 per cent, reported tribuneindia.com Jul 10, citing two Australian documentary filmmakers after their recent trip to Tibet. Mark Gould and Charles Dodgson, who have made a short presentation on their three-month journey across the Tibetan plateau at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, on Jul 10, have also described Lhasa as Lhasa Vegas.
Interacting with mediapersons, Mark has said he had visited Lhasa about a decade ago. “At that time my guide described it as a city of 1 lakh Chinese, 50,000 Tibetans and 20,000 sex workers that were there for Chinese soldiers. However, within a span of 10 years, the population and infrastructure in the city has grown by 500 per cent,” he was quoted as saying.
He has also noted, “The Potala palace of the Dalai Lama that used to cover the skyline of Lhasa is no more the most prominent building.”
With China having described tourism as one of the four pillar industries of Tibet, Charles has said most monasteries in the region had been renovated by the Chinese government with heavy investments and converted into tourist destinations.
“However, the numbers of monks in these monasteries has reduced to a great extent. Travelling through the Tibetan landscape, one feels that the Tibetan plateau is being converted into one big Buddhism theme park,” Charles was quoted as saying.
Speaking about the state of infrastructure development in Tibet, Mark has said this was evident over the areas of Tibet they had visited, with broad roads and bridges connecting even small towns.
Mark and Charles have said no restriction was laid on them shooting the footage from their small cameras which runs into 72 hours.