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Tibet: Politics and Government

Volume 493: debated on Monday 8 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department next plans to assess the (a) political and (b) human rights situation in Tibet. (278479)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes regular assessments of the political and human rights situation in Tibet.

Staff from our embassy in Beijing were most recently able to visit Tibet in May this year. There they were able to assess the situation of the Tibetan people, and found that many monasteries were able to carry out daily religious rites without obvious interference, though there was clear evidence of continued government restrictions in matters such as the numbers of monks and reverence of the Dalai Lama. In general security force presence had returned to similar levels as before the riots in March 2008. The exception was in the old town of Lhasa where there had been a visible increase. Embassy representatives heard that in future access to Tibet for foreigners, including tourists and official visitors would continue to ease. I intend to pursue our concerns in further detail during my own visit to Tibet later next month.