China rebuffs UN criticism on Tibet
Agence France-Presse in Beijing
China on Monday strongly rebuffed recent United Nations criticism that repression has prompted Tibetans to burn themselves alive in protest, countering that they enjoy full rights and the majority are content.
The UN human rights chief on Friday raised concerns about alleged abuses including excessive force and disappearances, following about 60 self-immolations by Tibetans since 2009.
“We expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the so-called Tibet-related statement,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing.
“The vast majority of people in Tibetan areas are satisfied with their current state,” he said. “People’s political, economic, cultural and religious rights and interests have been effectively protected.”
Hong reiterated China’s stance of blaming the Dalai Lama and his “clique” for encouraging immolations to press for separatism, condemning “such an ugly act of sacrificing other people’s lives to achieve its own splittist plot”.
He also warned the UN and other foreign bodies not to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to address Tibetans’ grievances saying: “I recognise Tibetans’ intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means”.
Pillay said she was disturbed by “continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, association and religion”.