"We've also seen, in Nepal, self-immolations. We continue to call on the Chinese Government to permit Tibetans to express grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution. And we urge Tibetans to end self-immolations," Ventrell said in response to a question.
The US statement came amidst reports that security officials in northwestern Chinese province of Gansu have arrested five Tibetans and accused them of inciting a series of self-immolations late last year by convincing participants that they would become heroes in death.
Four of those detained were Buddhist monks, who the police said were guided by a Tibetan exile organisation, The New York Times reported.