US Renews Call on China to Respect Tibetans

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 7:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has renewed its call on the Chinese Government to respect the rights of Tibetans and all other Chinese citizens who peacefully express their desire for internationally recognized freedoms.

The State Department urged Beijing Wednesday to resolve the underlying grievances of China's Tibetan population, which have led to recent self-immolations of Buddhist monks.

Nine monks have set themselves on fire in recent months to protest what they consider China's religious repression. The latest victim of self-immolation was for the first time a woman, who died of her injuries this week.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, led a prayer for the victims Wednesday in his place of exile in India.

The Chinese government accused him of encouraging the self-immolation of Buddhist monks by glorifying the actions instead of condemning them.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Jiang Yu, said the cost of encouraging such activity is violence and terrorism in disguise.

The Dalai Lama has discouraged self-immolation in the past, saying it violates Buddhist teaching on the sanctity of life.

The United States has repeatedly called on Beijing to protect the rights of China's minorities and Tibet's unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.