US to discuss Tibet situation with China

February 11th, 2012 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Dharamsala, Feb 11 (IANS) The issue of increased tensions and violations of human rights in Tibet will come up for discussion during Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US next week, a post on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) official website said Saturday.

“It is an area of grave concern for us to witness the increase of tensions in Tibet and Xinjiang. We are watching this, tracking very closely, with real concern,” said the post quoting Daniel Russel, special assistant to US President Barack Obama.

“The US has spoken out about it, and we use every opportunity to urge the Chinese officials and leaders to exercise real restraint,” he said.

“Part of our goal with respect to this visit is for Vice President Xi to understand the issues that are important to us, and that includes issues like the situation in Tibet, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion and so on,” Russel said in response to a question.

“This is an important part of our agenda and there’s no reason that the conversations with Vice President Xi would depart from our longstanding practices,” he added.

The Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamsala has sought international intervention over the prevailing tense situation inside Tibet.

It expressed fear of further bloodshed as the Tibetan New Year (Feb 22) and anniversary of the Tibetan uprising (March 10) approach.

The government-in-exile said 16 Tibetans had set themselves afire in the past 12 months to protest China’s policies and to press their demand for freedom. It said three more self-immolations occurred last week.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans and the Tibetan government-in-exile, which has never won recognition from any country.

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