Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and leaders around the world are urging China to use restraint after protests in the Tibetan capital turned violent.
The Dalai Lama said Friday that the demonstrations in Lhasa represent long-standing resentment of Chinese rule. He said Beijing should address the problem through dialogue, not force.
The United States, Britain and other European states also expressed concern after reports of gunfire emerged from Lhasa today.
A spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General said Ban Ki-moon also is following the situation in Lhasa, and has urged everyone involved in the protests to avoid confrontation and violence.
U.N. human rights chief Louise Arbour appealed to Beijing to allow Tibetans to practice their right to freedom of expression and assembly. She also urged China to avoid excessive force while maintaining order.
The U.S. State Department said its ambassador in Beijing Clark Randt called for restraint during a meeting with Chinese officials today.
The White House also called on Beijing to respect Tibetan culture, and it reiterated the U.S. government's call for dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.