Tibet’s major Buddhist monastery reopens after March riot

August 28th, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Lhasa, Aug 28 (Xinhua) A major Buddhist monastery in Tibet’s capital Lhasa has been reopened to visitors after it remained closed since the March 14 riot, monastery officials said Thursday.The Zhaibung Monastery, on the western outskirts of the city, has opened most of its palace halls and has received dozens of tourists since Tuesday, a monastery staff said.

The monastery was closed to visitors after the March 14 violence which led to the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman, with businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched.

On Saturday, religious activities will be held at the monastery to celebrate the traditional Shoton (Yogurt) Festival in Tibet.

The Zhaibung Monastery was built in 1416 and covers an area of around 200,000 square meters.

On Monday, Tibetan authorities said they would hold a forum Saturday to seek ideas for reviving the region’s tourism, which has been seriously affected by the March 14 riot.

In the first half, the region hosted 340,000 tourist arrivals, down 69 percent from the same period last year.

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