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Tibetan Exiles: Chinese Police Blockade Tibetan School

Tibetan exiles say Chinese paramilitary police have blockaded a Tibetan school in the northwestern province of Gansu after students held a peaceful demonstration.

The India-based Tibetan government in exile said students are angry that school authorities forced them to study official commentaries denouncing Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says students at the school near Labrang were protesting the alleged giving of university seats reserved for Tibetans allegedly to ethnic Han Chinese students.

Meanwhile, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement Friday that authorities in neighboring Machu county have cracked down on Tibetans who try to listen to international radio stations or visit Web sites such as the U.S. government's Radio Free Asia.

Earlier this week, human rights groups said authorities in Labrang released a Buddhist monk who helped produce a documentary about the lives and views of Tibetans ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Reporters Without Borders on Friday expressed concern that the filmmaker, Dhondup Wangchen, and at least six Tibetan journalists are still being held by Chinese authorities. The group said they had received information that Tibetan detainees, including Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, have been tortured.

The Tibetan government in exile on Friday urged China to drop what it said are false weapons charges against Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche.

The Dalai Lama said this week that recent cases against Tibetans in connection with last year's anti-government protests are politically motivated. China's Foreign Ministry dismissed the charge and said the cases are all being handled according to Chinese law.

The Dalai Lama arrived in the United States Friday amid Chinese pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama not to meet the religious figure who Beijing considers a separatist. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has said for decades that he only wants autonomy for his homeland, not independence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Phayul.