Urgyen, a 20-year old student was shot dead on January 26, 2012 in Dzamthang, eastern Tibet by Chinese security personnel while he, along with a group of local Tibetans were trying to protect his school mate Tharpa from being arrested.
DHARAMSHALA, February 12: Amidst calls for an all out “war” against ongoing protests in Tibet issued by Communist Party leaders, a senior official in the Obama administration has said US government will be raising the issue of Tibet during Chinese Vice President’s visit next week.
“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,” Daniel Russel, Special Assistant to US President Barack Obama, told reporters during a conference call Saturday.
“The US has spoken out about it, and we use every opportunity to urge the Chinese officials and leaders to exercise real restraint and to safeguard the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all of Chinese citizens, including in Tibet,” he added.
Following the fiery wave of self-immolations in Tibet, which has witnessed 23 Tibetans torch their bodies demanding Tibet’s freedom, a series of mass protests has rocked many parts of Tibet.
At least a dozen Tibetans are feared dead in indiscriminate police firings on unarmed protesters who were calling for the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
While recognising the current situation in Tibet as an important agenda for President Obama, Special Assistant Russel said the US government will strive to make Vice President Xi “understand” the issues that are important to the US during the visit.
“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 said.
“We routinely, regularly, invariably raise our concerns about the human rights situation in China and about China’s adherence to global human rights norms. This is a central part of our agenda,” the Special Assistant added.
In recent weeks, Chinese party officials have upped their vitriolic against the growing expressions of grievances in Tibet and taken harsh actions against officials found “neglecting their duty.”
Chen Quango, central Tibet’s Communist Party chief, in a speech at a conference held earlier this week, called for "a war against secessionist sabotage," declaring that the on going “fight against the Dalai Lama clique” was “long-term, complicated and sometimes even acute”.
In his speech, Chen warned that “irresponsible officials” who failed to fulfill their roles in “maintaining stability” would be removed from their posts and punished.
“We should make every effort,” he said, “to win the tough battle to maintain stability and seize the initiative in our fight against separatism”.
At the same conference, the decision to sack seven government officials on charges of leaving their posts and failing to carry out security duty was also announced.