Tibetan exiles say Chinese authorities have expanded a re-education campaign in the restive county of Driru by locking down at least three monasteries and calling back locals who were studying outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR).
A letter from the area, received by exiled Tibetans who have been observing the situation, says a mass "mental re-education" campaign is being extended in Driru, known as Biru in Chinese, site of recent unrest.
Sources tell VOA that Chinese authorities have targeted three monasteries in the area, with at least 11 monks being detained.
Samdup, a Tibetan from Driru who lives in Belgium, told VOA's Tibetan service about 1,000 people from Driru have been detained since September.
"They are concerned that if Driru is not stabilized first, it could destabilize the entire Tibetan Autonomous Region."
In August, the government in the Tibetan Autonomous Region launched a special patriotic campaign in Driru. The following month, villagers were ordered to fly Chinese national flags from their rooftops. But people in at least two villages reportedly dumped the flags into a river.
Since then, there have been reports of protests, arrests and shootings by police.
(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.)