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14 December 2012 003Dharamshala: The US State Department Under Secretary, Maria Otero, gave a statement that was read aloud for International Human Rights Day on December 10. In her remarks, Otero emphasized areas in which the EU and the United States are working together to promote and strengthen human rights around the world, specifically in Tibet.

As the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Ms. Otero reiterated The United States' deep concern and sadness over the continued violence in Tibetan areas of China and the rising incidences of self-immolations by Tibetans.

"And as a good example, European governments, including Germany, UK, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Poland, have joined the call for Chinese authorities to address the worsening human rights conditions in Tibetan areas," Ms. Otero said.

According to Ms. Otero, the Chinese authorities have responded to the tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on Tibetans. Chinese authorities have further exacerbated such tensions with rhetoric that aims to vilify the Dalai Lama as responsible for such tension within Tibet.

"The United States government has consistently urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions. These policies include increasingly severe government controls on Tibetan Buddhist religious practice and monastic institutions; education practices that undermine the preservation of Tibetan language; intensive surveillance, arbitrary detentions and disappearances of Tibetans,including youth and Tibetan intellectual and cultural leaders; escalating restrictions on news, media and communications; and the use of force against Tibetans seeking peacefully to exercise their universal human rights," said Ms. Otero.

"But advancing freedom and human rights is our daily work and we must continue the hard work of making human rights a human reality. We continue to press for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people, and we will stand with citizens, activists, and governments around the world that do the same, as we strive for a world in which each human being lives freely and with dignity," Ms Otero further explained.

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