China’s respect for freedom in Tibet deteriorated: US report

July 31st, 2012 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, July 31 (IANS) The US State Department has said there was a marked deterioration in the Chinese government’s respect for and protection of Buddhist religious freedom in Tibet and asked Beijing to resume talks with the Dalai Lama’s envoys.

“There was a marked deterioration in the government’s respect for and protection of religious freedom in the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) and other Tibetan areas, including increased restrictions on religious practice, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries,” said State Department’s 2011 International Religious Freedom report released Monday.

It said official interference in the practice of Tibetan Buddhist religious traditions generated profound grievances and contributed to a series of self-immolations by Tibetans, according to a post on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) website here.

The report also stated tightening of repression by the Chinese government on the Tibetan people ahead of and during sensitive anniversaries and events such as March 10 (the anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising) and the Dalai Lama’s birthday July 7.

US government officials urged the Chinese government to engage in constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives, and to address the policies that threaten Tibet’s distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity and are a primary cause of grievances among Tibetans.

The last round of talks - the ninth - between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and the Chinese for genuine autonomy for the people in Tibet was in Beijing in January 2010. Since then there has been a deadlock.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

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