Germany calls for calm in Tibet
AFP · 14 Mar 2008, 16:34
Published: 14 Mar 2008 16:34 GMT+01:00
"The federal government is following developments in Lhasa with concern and calls on all sides to avoid violence at all costs," a foreign ministry spokesman said.
"In the eyes of the federal government, peaceful demonstrations are a legitimate expression of the right of freedom of opinion."
The ministry also advised German citizens not to travel to Tibet until further notice and called on its nationals already in the country to be careful and to follow instructions from security officials.
Lhasa erupted in violence on Friday as security forces used gunfire to quell the biggest protests against Chinese rule in two decades, witnesses and rights groups said.
The violence, which left at least a dozen people hospitalized with injuries, came amid an ever-growing international campaign by Tibetans to challenge China's rule of the Himalayan region ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.
The United States and Britain quickly expressed concern over the reports of violence, with the White House calling on Beijing to "respect Tibetan culture."