The resentment of Tibet’s people against Chinese Communist oppression is being demonstrated anew by a series of protesters who have set fire to themselves over the last few years.

The numbers of such incidents have increased and the countries of the civilized world have taken notice. Maria Otero, the U.S. diplomat working on Tibetan issues, recently stated the obvious, that tensions in Tibetan areas have been made worse by Chinese policies.

The Chinese government strictly controls the restive region and avidly promotes ethnic Chinese immigrants to Lhasa and other parts of Tibet.

We think it is a badge of honor that Otero’s comments have provoked condemnation from the Chinese foreign ministry.

“The relevant U.S. official issued a so-called statement and did not condemn the anti-Chinese splittist conduct of the Dalai Lama clique and Tibetan independence forces and actually attacked and rebuked China’s important ethnic policies. It is totally confusing black with white and right with wrong,” a foreign ministry spokesman said, calling U.S. statements “utterly disgusting.”

What is disgusting is the repression by the Chinese government. As the Dalai Lama will doubtless again emphasize in his visit to New Orleans this spring, the peaceful resolution of Tibet’s problems should be the goal of the Chinese government. We hope that the U.S. government continues to speak out, and we hope that Louisiana’s people and officials will show their support for democracy and human rights when the Tibetan spiritual leader comes to New Orleans.