2008-05-08 07:00:16 Xinhua English
LHASA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Yishion clothing store, the retail outlet where five female sales staff burned to death in the Lhasa riot on March 14, reopened on Thursday.
Six flower baskets bearing "Kaiyedaji" cards, which means "good luck" in Chinese, were placed in front of the store.
Yishion was the worst-hit store in Lhasa, but the re-decorated modern store almost made people forget the atrocity.
Along with new decorations, the owner installed fire extinguishers and created an emergency exit.
The five women who died in the riot were only 20 years old on average, and the store was in ruins after the riot.
The 23-year-old Zhoi'ma, the only survivor of the fire, was busily putting goods on the shelves. Three newly-hired assistants were also preparing for the re-opening. They did not want to mention the past.
"Peace has come. Facing our new life is more important," one ofthe women said.
The government provided a concessional loan of 1 million yuan (142,857 U.S. dollars) to the store and reduced its rent and tax, said store owner Tang Qingyan.
On the same day, the Beijing Olympic torch rose to the top of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest)
"We did not deliberately choose the same day as the Olympic torch relay at Mt. Qomolangma. But the coincidence made me happy," Tang said.
Most of the 1,300 vendors affected in the riot have reopened, according to the Lhasa Municipal Industrial and Commercial Bureau.
The Tibet regional government has offered a series of preferential policies connected to taxes, loans, living allowances and reemployment to help them restore their business. The rent subsidy is as high as 90 percent in the first year.