(dpa) - Monks have protested a government "patriotic education" campaign at a monastery outside Lhasa, resulting in a number of arrests, a Tibetan exile group said Tuesday.
The protest at the Drepung Monastery, the largest in Tibet, occurred at the weekend when Chinese authorities arrived to conduct the education campaign, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said, citing information it said it confirmed from unnamed reliable sources.
The authorities then called in security forces, who sealed off the monastery, the centre said without giving an exact number of arrests.
It said the condition and whereabouts of the monk detained were unknown.
In a report Friday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported that a patriotic education group had arrived at the monastery "to help maintain social stability, socialist legal institutions" and "restore religious order."
Xinhua did not report a protest at Drepung Monastery but cited Tibet's government as saying the officials involved in the patriotic education campaign throughout Tibet "have received the understanding and support of monks and religious followers."
China stepped up its patriotic education campaign in the wake of last month's protests against its rule and deadly violence in Tibetan areas.
The demonstrations spread outside Tibet to regions with Tibetan populations as well as Nepal, India and the Olympic torch relay, but a crackdown by China brought them largely to an end within its borders.
The protest at the Drepung Monastery, however, followed small demonstrations of monks during government-organized media tours in the north-western province of Gansu last week and in Lhasa last month.
The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence last month in Lhasa, but the Tibetan government in exile said about 140 people were killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.
The International Campaign for Tibet, a group advocating respect of human rights and democratic freedoms in Tibet, said Chinese media have reported nearly 4,000 detentions since the protests began March 10, the 49th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. About half have been released, it said.