US asks China to redress Tibetans' grievances

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 11:20 hrs

Dharamsala, Feb 8 (IANS) The US has asked China to allow Tibetans to express their grievances and resolve these by engaging in dialogue, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said here Friday.

"We are deeply concerned about the overall deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas, including not only the tragic self-immolations, but also that criminal laws have been used to deal with people who have associated with those people," US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Thursday.

A post on the CTA website by Nuland said: "There are deep grievances within the Tibetan population which are not being addressed openly".

Favouring initiation of dialogue with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions, Nuland said: "In almost every encounter we have at a senior level with Chinese officials, we raise our concerns about human rights in general, about Tibet specifically".

"We urge the Chinese government to engage in a substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representative without preconditions as a means of addressing the grievances that the people of Tibet have and to relieve tensions."

A total of 99 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.

China has blamed the Dalai Lama-led group of Tibetans of making "false charges" against the Chinese government.

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

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