Thursday 26 January 2012

‘Exercise restraint, Allow observers in Tibet,’ US tells China

Phayul[Wednesday, January 25, 2012 22:52]
By Tendar Tsering
US Special Coordinator for Tibet, Under Secretary Maria Otero
US Special Coordinator for Tibet, Under Secretary Maria Otero
DHARAMSHALA, January 25: Angered by the indiscriminate police firings on unarmed Tibetans in eastern Tibet over the last two days, the US government on Tuesday renewed its call for an end to the critical situation inside Tibet.

US Special Coordinator for Tibet, Under Secretary Maria Otero said US was “gravely concerned by reports of violence and continuing heightened tensions” in Tibet.

At least a dozen Tibetans have been killed in Chinese police firings in two separate incidents in Drongo and Serthar over the last two days. The Tibetans, protesting the repressive Chinese government policies in Tibet had called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and demanded independence for Tibet.

"The US Government repeatedly has urged the Chinese government to address the counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people," the US Special Coordinator for Tibet said.

President Obama’s point woman for Tibet went on to list a few of the “counterproductive policies” as the Chinese government’s “dramatic expansion” of controls on religious life and practice; ongoing “patriotic education” campaigns requiring the denunciation of the Dalai Lama; the permanent placement of Chinese officials in monasteries; increasingly intensive surveillance, arbitrary detentions and disappearances of Tibetans.

Under Secretary Otero also noted that the US Government has “consistently and directly” raised the issue of Tibetan self-immolations with the Chinese government while criticising Beijing for placing restrictions on and imprisoning families and friends of the self-immolators.

Just in the past 11 months, 16 Tibetans in Tibet have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

"We urge Chinese security forces to exercise restraint, and we renew our call to allow access to Tibetan areas of China for journalists, diplomats and other observers," the US Special Coordinator for Tibet said.

“We call on the Chinese government to resume substantive, results-oriented dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to address the underlying grievances of China’s Tibetan population."

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