DHARAMSHALA, March 19: The United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China urged the Chinese government to end repressive policies in Tibet, saying that “harsher regulations and heavier security” will not ease tension in the region.
In a statement issued by the bipartisan CECC on Monday, the chairmen called on China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.
“We hope for an end to these tragic self-immolations soon. The Chinese government can reduce tension, but not through its current policy of harsher regulations and heavier security," said Senator Sherrod Brown, Chairman of the Commission.
"Ending policies that deny Tibetans their freedoms of expression, association, and religion, while showing greater tolerance for cultural diversity, and resuming a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions would go a long way toward easing tensions."
Since 2009, as many as 109 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile. Scores of Tibetans have been sentenced to harsh prison terms, including a death sentence with a two year reprieve, by Chinese courts for their alleged roles in the fiery protests.
CECC further told China that reversing its policies and allowing international observers into Tibet would help in alleviating the situation.
"In recent years, Chinese officials have tightened controls on Tibetan Buddhism and monastic institutions, used excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, promoted resettlement and educational policies that have threatened and disrupted Tibetan culture and language, and closed Tibetan areas off to the outside world," said Congressman Chris Smith, Cochairman of the Commission.
"Reversing these policies and allowing international observers into the region would do much to alleviate the situation."
The CECC, in a special report released last August
titled, ‘Tibetan Self-Immolation Rising Frequency, Wider Spread, Greater Diversity,’ had said the Chinese government is unwilling to address the grievances of the Tibetan people and has refrained from admitting policy failure in Tibet.
“The Party and government have not indicated any willingness to consider Tibetan grievances in a more constructive manner and to hold themselves accountable for Tibetan rejection of Chinese policies,” the report said. “The Party and government have handled the crisis as a threat to state security and social stability instead of a policy failure.”