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Sr US official meets relatives of Tibetan self-immolators

Families of three Tibetans who recently set themselves ablaze to protest China`s oppression in Tibet, met this week with a top American diplomat.



Washington: Families of three Tibetans who recently set themselves ablaze to protest China`s oppression in Tibet, met this week with a top American diplomat in charge of human rights issues, a senior US official confirmed.

The meeting between the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Michael Posner, took place at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on Thursday, the official said, without giving details of the family members, for safety reasons.

"He (Posner) expressed our deepest condolences and our grave concern for the spiraling violence and harsh crackdown in Tibetan areas as well as, you know, grief with regard to the self-immolations," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters here.

"I think in order to protect them and their families, I won`t go into any more details," she said.

"Altogether there were three families. I don`t have the details," she said.

"You know our policy with regard to this and our concerns. We remain very concerned about rising tensions that result from counterproductive policies, including those that limit freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association in Tibet," Nuland said.

"We are disturbed by reports of violence between police and student protesters that left 20 students injured after a protest earlier this week by approximately a thousand Tibetan medical students in Qinghai province against a government-issued booklet which derided the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama and self-immolators," she said in response to another question.

"We are going to continue to raise this publicly and privately and urge the Chinese government, at all levels, to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions and that threaten the distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people," she said.

PTI

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