Washington: Asking China to address the grievances of the Tibetan community, the US on Friday said it wants to see "tragic acts of self-immolation to come to an end" in the Himalayan region.
China should allow Tibetans to express their grievances publicly and peacefully and without fear of retribution, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, a day after a Chinese court convicted eight Tibetans of inciting others to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule.
Since 2009, nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves afire protesting against Chinese-rule and calling for the return of their exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
"We take this opportunity once again to call on the Chinese government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully and without fear of retribution," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference.
The United States, she said, is aware of reports that Chinese authorities have handed down sentences to two Tibetans for allegedly inciting the self-immolation of others.
"As we have regularly said, the US wants to see these kinds of tragic acts of self-immolation come to an end, and we continue, both publicly and privately, to 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," Nuland said in response to a question.