China Demands Tibetan Support for Panchen Lama

January 25, 2005

Source: The Times of India

Wire Service: Reuters

On January 25, 2005 Reuters reported, "Chinese authorities have told senior religious leaders in a Tibetan area to urge the faithful to show more support for a top monk anointed by Beijing and on whom the future of the restive region may ride. The order was issued, together with a threat of punishment, in a closed-door meeting in November in Qinghai, a western province with a population of more than 5 million, many of whom are ethnic Tibetans, sources familiar with the issue said... A second source said the meeting was called by senior Qinghai officials to give the message that 'Beijing was very, very much in charge.' Similar meetings were likely to have been held in other Tibetan-populated parts of China, the source said... An official with the Qinghai office of religious affairs said he had not heard of the meeting. The propaganda department of Qinghai's Communist Party committee denied such a meeting had taken place."