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US Ambassador visits Tibet; urges China to "re-examine" policies PDF Print E-mail
[30 October 2012] Following a visit to Tibetan regions in September, the US Ambassador to China has called on the Chinese government to "re-examine" its policies in Tibet that have led to current wave of protests and self-immolations. The ambassador made the comments on 29 October following a series of seven self-immolations in six days in Tibet.

Gary LockeIn September, US Ambassador Gary Locke (pictured right) visited the Ngaba region in eastern Tibet as part of a broader trip to Chongqing and Sichuan province. During the trip, Ambassador Locke visited two Tibetan monasteries in the Zungchu region of Ngaba, plus several villages where he met with local residents.

The initial comments by the Ambassador on his first trip to a Tibetan region, were benign. He was quoted as saying, I was struck by the unique Tibetan culture and met many ethnic Tibetans to learn more about how they live and work, such as an 88-year-old monk at one of the monasteries I visited. Ethnic diversity adds richness to a society.

However, following the recent spate of self-immolations in in Tibet, Mr Locke finally spoke out. On 29 October, during an online forum in Beijing, Mr Locke said, We implore the Chinese [government] to really meet with the representatives of the Tibetan people to address and re-examine some of the policies that have led to some of the restrictions and the violence and the self-immolations.

Mr Locke called the self-immolations very deplorable, and urged China to show respect for Tibetans religion, culture, and language. He added, Nobody wants that type of action, or of people having to resort to that type of action. Too many deaths.

Further reading: NY Times I Phayul (17 Oct) I Phayul (30 Oct)

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