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Answer to written question on VP/HR Ashton- Tibet: young monk sets himself on fire

June 24, 2012

Subject: Answer to written question on VP/HR - Tibet: young monk sets himself on fire
Date published: May 22 2012
Question for written answer E-001930/2012 to the Commission (Vice-President / High Representative) Rule 117 Mario Mauro (PPE)
Subject: VP/HR - Tibet: young monk sets himself on fire
On 13 February 2012, a young monk of just 19 years of age set himself on fire in the Chinese province of Sichuan in an escalation of protests against the suppression being perpetrated by Beijing.
It is the second extreme act by a young Tibetan in two days, which brings the number of victims since February 2009 to 24 – although there is no official confirmation of the death.
Can the Commission state:
1. Whether the VP/HR is aware of this event;
2. What action does the VP/HR intend to take to address the violence against Tibetans taking place in the country?
E-001930/2012 Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Ashton
The High Representative/Vice President is deeply concerned at the distressing events in the Tibetan areas. On 9 December 2011, the EU Delegation to China made a demarche to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing its profound concern at the recent series of self-immolations which demonstrate the continuing depth of feeling among many Tibetans that their religious, linguistic and cultural rights are not being respected. The demarche underlined that the EU is concerned with the situation at Kirti monastery, in particular with reports that only a few hundred monks remain at the monastery and that the majority have either been sent home or are in detention. The EU urged the Chinese authorities to address the root causes of the self-immolations, and in particular the perceived lack of genuine participation by the Tibetan population in the development policy of the region.
The EU also expressed its concerns regarding the situation in Tibet during the visit of Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice-Minister of the United Front Work Department to Brussels, on 12 December 2011.
EU's deep concerns as to the human rights situation in Tibet were raised as well at the EU-China summit which took place on 14 February 2012 inBeijing. While adhering to the ‘One-China policy’, the EU will continue to call for full respect for human rights, including the freedom of expression, religion, culture, association and assembly in these areas as in other parts of China.
Moreover, the EU repeatedly urges the Chinese authorities to resume their dialogue with the Envoys of the Dalai Lama. It has also asked to visit the regions inhabited by Tibetans but this request has been refused until now.
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