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US asks China to address Tibet issue

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 12:40 hrs

Dharamsala, Dec 6 (IANS) The United States Thursday urged China to address its policies that are pushing Tibetans to immolate themselves. It also asked China to engage in a dialogue with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.

"The US is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans," special coordinator for Tibetan issues Maria Otero said, according to a post on the website of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based here.

"Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans. Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those who have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions," Otero said.

Concerned over self-immolations, Otero said the US government had consistently urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions.

"These policies include increasingly severe government controls, arbitrary detentions and disappearances of Tibetans, including youth and Tibetan intellectual and cultural leaders. We call on the Chinese government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution," she added.

Earlier, the upper house of the French parliament adopted a resolution on Tibet.

The resolution, passed Nov 27, called on the European Union (EU) to give priority to Tibet within the mandate of its recently appointed Special Representative for Human Rights.

It also favoured promoting policy coordination in the EU for consistent support for dialogue between the People's Republic of China and envoys of the Dalai Lama, with the prospect of reaching a peaceful settlement beneficial to the rights of Tibetans.

A total of 92 people have reportedly killed themselves since 2009 to protest Beijing's "repressive policies" and demand the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland, the CTA said.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this north Indian hill town.




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