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Promoting Fundamental Rights in Tibet

The Dalai Lama’s Three Commitments: Solving The Sino-Tibet Issue and Preservation of Tibetan (File)

The United States has a long term commitment to improving human rights conditions in Tibet.

The United States has a long term commitment to improving human rights conditions in Tibet.

Promoting Fundamental Rights in Tibet
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One way to help ease tensions in Tibet is for China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions, , said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall.The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he does not seek independence for Tibet, but instead wants China to ensure the preservation of Tibet’s cultural heritage through genuine autonomy within China.

In the meantime, the Chinese government’s respect for Tibetans’ fundamental human rights remains poor. The State Department’s 2014 human rights report concluded China “engaged in the severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of China’s Tibetan population, including the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly, and movement.”

In urging China to improve the situation, Under Secretary Sewall called “for China to end the harassment, detention, and other mistreatment of individuals who seek to peacefully practice their religion, express their views, or seek legal redress. . . .We ask for the release of prisoners of conscience, and also request that filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who completed his six year prison sentence, be allowed to reunite with his family.”

The State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report highlighted China's growing interference in the core tenet of Tibetan Buddhism known as reincarnation.Respecting the basic and universally recognized right of religious freedom demands that any decision on the next Dalai Lama be reserved to the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders, and the Tibetan people.

The United States also remains concerned about the lack of physical access to Tibet’s beautiful landscape and unique culture. Tourists, journalists, and foreign diplomats face significant obstacles in visiting Tibetan areas. The U.S. continues to press the Chinese government to permit greater diplomatic and consular access to Tibet.

The United States will continue to push for a resumption of dialogue between Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama and continue to urge China to respect the rights of Tibetans and protect their unique cultural, linguistic, and ethnic identity.