Chronology of Events Surrounding Recognition of 11th Panchen Lama
January 28, 1989: The Tenth Panchen Lama, Lobsang Trinley Choekyi Gyaltsen, passes away in Shigatse, Tibet.
March 21, 1991: The Chinese Government is informed, through its New Delhi Embassy, that His Holiness the Dalai Lama wish to assist in the search for the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. His Holiness expresses his wish to send a religious delegation to Lhamoi Lhatso, the sacred lake near Lhasa, to pray and observe prophetic visions in the lake which will guide the delegation to the genuine reincarnation. China rejects this proposal three months later by saying that there is no need for "outside interference".
July 17, 1993: The acting abbot of Tashilhunpo Monastery and head of the Chinese official search party, Chatral Rinpoche, delivers to Kalon Gyalo Thondup a letter and offerings from Beijing to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The letter records the progress made in the search for the reincarnation.
August 5, 1993: Dharamsala delivers to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi a reply to Chatral Rinpoche. The reply invites a delegation under him to come to India and discuss matters relating to the search for the Panchen Lamaís reincarnation. There is no response to this letter.
October 17 and 18, 1994: A Chinese individual, with close ties to the Government in Beijing, meets with Tibetan leaders in Dharamsala. During the meeting, His Holiness asks him to remind Beijing that he is still waiting for a reply to his letter to Chatral Rinpoche. His Holiness also reiterates the importance of carrying out the search for the Panchen Lamaís reincarnation through strict traditional religious procedures.
January 1995: Dharamsala sends two communications to the same Chinese individual reminding him of the discussion held in October 1994, and requesting him to urge the Chinese authorities for an early response.
May 14, 1995: His Holiness announces Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a six-year-old boy in Tibetís northern region of Nagchu, as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.
May 17, 1995: Xinhua news despatch carries a scathing reaction from a spokesman of Chinaís Bureau of Religious Affairs. The spokesman terms His Holinessí action as illegal and accuses him of disregarding "fixed historical convention, undermining religious rituals''.
May 17, 1995: Chatral Rinpoche is intercepted in Chengdu, en route to Tibet, and flown back to Beijing to be held incommunicado under house arrest.
May 18, 1995: Chinese launch their campaign to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama's declaration of the new Panchen Lama. Tourists in Shigatse report a sharp increase in troop activity.
Mid-May, 1995: Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and family taken to China. Exact whereabouts unknown.
May 19, 1995: Posters appear in Lhasa streets, rejecting the Beijing claim for the need to use Golden Urn to select the Panchen Lama.
May 20, 1995: Dharamsala reacts to the Chinese statement by explaining the historical conventions relating to the recognition of reincarnations, and urging Beijing not to politicize Tibetís spiritual traditions.
May 21, 1995: Posters supporting His Holiness the Dalai Lama's candidate appear in Shigatse.
May 23, 1995: A report from Lhasa suggests that the Chinese authorities have been calling for political re-education meetings to announce a ban on public discussions of the Panchen Lama.
July 12, 1995: Chinese riot police interrupt a major religious ceremony at Tashilhunpo when over a hundred monks had threatened to stage a demonstration against the Chinese Governmentís forceful intervention in the selection of the new Panchen Lama.
July 14, 1995: The local Religious Affairs Bureau in Shigatse issues a formal order removing Chatral Rinpoche, Gyatrul Rinpoche and other leading lamas of Tashilhunpo monastery from their posts.
Eight new pro-Chinese leaders, including Sengchen Lobsang Gyaltsen and Lama Tsering, are appointed as the new administrators of Tashilhunpo Monastery.
September 14, 1995: Tibet Information Network, a London-based news monitoring agency, releases a list of 48 Tibetans who have been arrested by the Chinese police in connection with the Panchen Lama reincarnation dispute.
November 8, 1995: Chinaís United Front summons a meeting of 75 Tibetans, including Chinese-appointed Gaden Throne Holder, Bomi, in Beijing. At the meeting, the United Front tables a list of three Beijing-nominated Panchen Lama candidates.
November 14, 1995: The 75 participants at the United Front meeting return to Lhasa.
November 19, 1995: The Chinese-appointed Gaden Throne Holder, Bomi, disappears from his home.
November 29, 1995: Bomi resurfaces in Lhasa to draw lots from the golden urn to select the Chinese candidate for the Panchen Lama position. The lots-drawing results in the selection of a six-year-old boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, from Nagchu area in northern Tibet, as the Panchen Lama.
December 8, 1995: Gyaltsen Norbu enthroned in Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama, amidst tight security with over 500 PLA soldiers deployed throughout the monastery compound.
January 18, 1996: A bomb detonates at the house in Lhasa of Sengchen Lobsang Gyaltsen, a Tibetan lama and political appointee who collaborated with the Chinese in installing their choice of Panchen Lama.
2002: Beijing still refuses to divulge the whereabouts of Gendhun Choekyi Nuima and his parents.