US lawmakers concerned over rights violations in TibetNovember 18th, 2011 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS
Dharamsala, Nov 18 (IANS) Three US lawmakers have expressed concern over human rights violations in Tibet and asked the US ambassador to China to collect first-hand information on self-immolation protests, the Tibetan government in exile said Friday.
Congressmen Frank R. Wolf, James P. McGovern, and Joseph Pitts Nov 17 sent a letter to US Ambassador to China Gary Locke asking him to visit Tibet in the light of the recent self-immolations, said a post on the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
“Raise the Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet with senior party officials and publicly use your platform as ambassador to make it clear to the Tibetan people that they have a friend in the United States of America,” they said.
The Congressmen are members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the US House of Representatives.
Apprising the ambassador about the recent testimony of Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay and Kirti Rinpoche to the Lantos Commission, the members said: “Their testimony was moving and deeply disturbing. They spoke of the abuses suffered by the Tibetan people which in recent months have driven these peace-loving people to desperate forms of protests.”
The Congressmen urged Locke to press for a fact-finding mission into Kirti Monastery which has featured prominently in the recent wave of self-immolations.
The CTA said the Tibetans immolated themselves to protest China’s policies, and for their demand of freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.
Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.
He then headed a Tibetan government-in-exile which never won recognition from any country. India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.
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Tags: central tibetan administration, chinese troops, country india, dalai lama, dharamsala, fact finding mission, frank r wolf, gary locke, human rights commission, human rights violations, james p mcgovern, joseph pitts, repressive policies, rinpoche, sangay, tibetan government in exile, tibetans, tom lantos, us ambassador to china, us house of representatives