Berlin - A group of German parliamentarians returning from a visit to Nepal said Tuesday they had heard reports that monasteries in neighbouring Tibet were suffering serious food and medicine shortages after being sealed off by the Chinese authorities.
The five-strong group from the parliamentary development aid committee said they had met Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu, along with the Dalai Lama's representative in the Nepalese capital.
Many monasteries had been sealed off, the group, headed by Greens politicians Thilo Hoppe, said.
The refugees reported that 'ominous bottlenecks' in the supplies of food and medicines had occurred and that there had been isolated cases where people had died as a result.
Tibetan exiles and members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile had insisted the protests against Chinese rule had been overwhelmingly peaceful, the group said in a statement released by the German parliament.
The exiles said some of the protests had been instigated by the Chinese security forces and falsely attributed to the monks.
The German parliamentary group was shown photographs of Chinese soldiers carrying monks' robes in their luggage.
The five Bundestag members spent nine days visiting projects in Nepal before returning to Germany over the weekend.