A US Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would call on China to ease restrictions in Tibetan areas and free prisoners after a wave of self-immolations by Tibetans angry over Chinese rule.
Under the resolution, the Senate would state that it mourns the protesters who have died, deplore “the repressive policies targeting Tibetans” and urge Beijing to release all “arbitrarily detained” people.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the resolution among a series of bills that touch on Iran, Sudan and Syria. The committee also approved nominations of ambassadors to countries including Libya and Tunisia.
The committee sent the bills and nominations to the full Senate, which is likely to approve them in the near future.
The Tibet resolution would not carry repercussions but would urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to seek a “full accounting” from China on the flashpoint Kirti monastery and urge Beijing to provide unfettered access in Tibetan regions to journalists and diplomats.
At least 29 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, have set themselves on fire since the start of 2011 to protest what many of them consider to be religious and political repression by Beijing.
China contends that it has provided development to Tibet and accuses the Dalai Lama, the region’s exiled spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace laureate, of fomenting unrest.