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DHARAMSHALA: The Human Rights Commissioner of the Federal German Government urged the Chinese government to reform its policies in Tibet and said international observers be allowed to visit Tibetan areas to assess the causes of the increasing self-immolations.

In a statement on 21 November, the Human Rights Commissioner said, “The Communist Party of China has determined its new leadership a few days ago. The outgoing President Hu Jintao has declared economic growth and the elimination of the tremendous social imbalance as being the biggest challenges and acknowledged that because of corruption and abuse of power there is need for reform.

“The new leadership will also be judged by its respect for human rights. This includes progress in dealing with dissidents and human rights defenders as well as in dealing with minorities. I support the call of UN-High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who also has pointed to the situation in Tibet in face of the ongoing self-immolations. With allowing international observers and a policy that reduces tensions and acknowledges the deep dissatisfaction in Tibet, China would leave a mark for more humanity.”

In its human rights policy report covering March 2010 to February 2012, the German government said “Particular worrisome is the human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang. Freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are suppressed more heavily in these regions than in others”.

“The Central Government (China) continues to relentlessly persecute any (even alleged) endeavor for autonomy or independence. The self-immolations of young Tibetan monks and nuns at the monastery of Kirti – a place confronted with extraordinarily repressive measures – were particularly desperate expressions of protest against these politics of repression,” the report said.