Oz govt urges China for restraint over protests in Tibet

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Beijing, Mar 15 : The Australian Government has reportedly urged upon the Chinese government to observe restraint and allow for peaceful protests in Tibet, which is witnessing violence in the Tibetan capital city after the biggest anti-Chinese protests in two decades.

Aussie foreign affairs minister is learnt to have urged any Australians in Lhasa to register or update their contact details with DFAT through smartraveller.gov.au.

At least two people have reportedly died after police opened fire and used teargas to disperse demonstrating crowds in Lhasa.

The protests, which have spread into China, came amid a growing international campaign by Tibetans to challenge Beijing's rule of the Himalayan region ahead of the Olympic Games in August.

Aussie Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said the government was concerned about the reports. "We call on Chinese authorities to act with restraint and to deal with protesters peacefully. We urge the Chinese government to allow peaceful expression of dissent," the news.com.au quoted Smith as saying in a statement.

He added that the country's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has been in contact with eight Australians in Lhasa.

The Australian embassy in Beijing also is working to establish whether any other Australians are in Lhasa.

DFAT's travel advice for China was updated yesterday advising Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Lhasa at this time.

Australians in difficulty in Lhasa can contact the department's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, said the report.

ANI

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