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Tibet Government-in-Exile Says Some 70 Monks Arrested in Lhasa


Tibet's government-in-exile says Chinese authorities have detained at least 70 Buddhist monks for joining last month's rare protests against Chinese rule in Tibet.

The Indian-based government stated on its Web site Wednesday that authorities arrested 70 of the 100 monks living at the Ramoche monastery in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, Monday.

The government-in-exile said Buddhist monasteries in other Tibetan areas of China also are under tight restrictions.

China's official Xinhua news agency says authorities have arrested more than 2,000 people, including 519 monks, in connection with anti-government riots in northwestern China. Most have been released.

In China's Gansu province today, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks disrupted a government-sponsored media tour.

Foreign correspondent Lucy Hornby of Reuters on the tour tells VOA the monks burst into an open plaza at the Labrang monastery carrying the Tibetan flag and yelling slogans.

She says some of the monks appeared very emotional and were calling for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet. The monks said they do not want independence, but more human rights.

The Dalai Lama is Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

On March 10, rare demonstrations were held in Lhasa commemorating the failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

The demonstrations later turned violent, and a deadly crackdown by police spurred protests in other Tibetan areas and across the world. The movement has drawn critical attention to China's human rights record in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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