OPINION

April 1, 1959

PANCHEN LAMA: Communist China announced that it has installed a new regime in Tibet, which is headed by the pro-Communist Panchen Lama, 21, the rival of the Dalai Lama. The move had been expected since 1950 when the Dalai Lama began to oppose the invasion of Tibet by Chinese communists. The Panchen Lama is the spiritual equal of the Dalai Lama but has never exercised any political power. The two spiritual leaders are believed to be incarnations of the two great disciples of Tsongkhapa, a 15th-century Tibetan holy man. An announcement by Chinese Premier Chou En-lai said that many members of the Tibetan government and the reactionary clique in the country’s elite had joined forces with rebel robbers, attacked members of the population, along with the Dalai Lama, who has fled to the south of the country near the Indian border, and had abrogated the treaty on the peaceful liberation of Tibet. He said that on March 19 they had incited an insurgency against People’s Liberation Army guards in Lhasa. This, he said, constituted a crime and treason. He had therefore ordered the rebellion to be put down and the local government dissolved.