Raise human rights issues with China: US senators

Dharamsala, Aug 13 (IANS) Ten US lawmakers have written a letter to President Barak Obama asking him to raise during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US next month the issue of deteriorating human rights situation in China, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said on Thursday.

“We understand that there are many important issues in the US-China bilateral relationship. We expect that China’s recent actions in the east and south China seas, economic and trade issues, climate change, as well as the recent cyber attacks, will figure prominently in your discussions,” the senators wrote in the letter.

The senators also urged President Obama to raise the issue of Chinese interference in selecting the reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist lamas.

“In particular, we hope that you will emphasise to President Xi that China should respect the basic and universally recognised right of religious freedom, to include refraining from persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and from interference in the centuries-old system of recognising reincarnate Tibetan Buddhist lamas,” said a post on CTA’s official website, quoting the letter.

The US lawmakers who wrote the letter are Ben Cardin, John McCain, Pat Leahy, Kelly Ayotte, Sherrod Brown, Tom Cotton, Tammy Baldwin, Susan Collins, Robert Menendez and John Cornyn.

The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based in this northern Indian hill town.

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