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US diplomat: No freedom for Tibetans in Tibet PDF Print E-mail
[28 November 2014] A top US government official has said there is no freedom for Tibetans living under Chinese rule. The US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Sarah Sewall, made the statement to the media after meetings with the Dalai Lama, the Sikyong (Prime Minister in exile) and Tibetan refugees who had recently fled Tibet.

Sarah SewallThe US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Sarah Sewall (pictured right), who is also Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights met with Tibetan refugees during a recent trip to India and Nepal. Ms Sewall also met with the Dalai Lama and Sikyong Lobsang Sangay in Dharamsala.

At a press conference, on her return to the USA, Ms Sewall gave an overview of her trip, "I spent much of my time talking to refugees and talking to the organisations that welcome and work with refugees about the situation in China, because they tend to have more recent stories. I met with several people who had left China recently, and I spoke to many people who have family in China."

Ms Sewall added, "Their assessment of the situation tracks very much with the State Department's assessment of the situation, as recorded in our human rights reporting, that there is not a degree of freedom for Tibetans within China that we think is consistent with international human rights standards."

The Dalai Lama & Sarah SewallOf her meetings with the Dalai Lama and Sikyong, Ms Sewall said, "We spoke about non-violent approaches to conflict resolution, to include the questions of preserving Tibetan culture, religion, and education in every place that Tibetans currently reside."

During the trip, Ms Sewall announced the award of a US government grant of $3.2 million to assist with the modernisation of health care facilities for Tibetan refugees in Nepal and India. The primary focus of the grant will be on maternal and child health and combating tuberculosis.

Ms Sewall was appointed US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues in February 2014.

Further reading:
PTI (in Economic Times) I NetIndian I Phayul

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