China slams UN for criticising its handling of Tibet protests
Beijing: China Monday slammed the UN for criticising its handling of self-immolation protests in Tibet and said people in the Himalayan region enjoy their religious and political rights.
"We are dissatisfied with and strongly opposed to the high commissioner's statement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said while reacting to UN rights chief Navi Pillay's remarks on Friday that asked China to address all issues in Tibet leading to extreme protests like self-immolations.
People in Tibet are enjoying economic growth, social stability and a settled life, Hong said, adding that their religious, political, economic and cultural rights are guaranteed.
"The Dalai clique has seriously beautified the illegal self-immolations in Tibetan areas, which are extreme behaviour in violation of religious mores," Hong said.
Pillay's comments were a rare instance of the UN Rights body criticising China, a veto wielding member of the UN Security Council.
Over 60 Tibetans died of self-immolations protesting the Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama from exile in India.
Pillay said she was concerned by reports of detentions and disappearances and curbs on the cultural rights of Tibetans.
"I have had several exchanges with the Chinese government on these issues. But more needs to be done to protect human rights and prevent violations," she said in a statement. She also asked Tibetans to refrain from desperate forms of protest.
"The government also needs to recognise this, and permit Tibetans to express their feelings without fear of retribution," she said.
Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama told the media in Japan that China's new leaders who were expected to get elected in the Communist Party Congress later this month will have no choice but to embark on political reforms to end the stalemate in Tibet.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, specially referred to Vice President Xi Jinping who is tipped to succeed President Hu Jintao, said now that Hu's era was over Xi has no alternative but to carry some political changes and reforms.