New York Times
BEIJING, China, 22 December 1908
A report from Peking says that the [Thirteenth] Dalai Lama left yesterday morning to return to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
“His departure marks the beginning of the end of his four years of wandering over Northern China. The Lama started out from Lhasa shortly after the arrival there of a British column under the command of Col. Sir Francis Younghusband. He felt that his holy city had been desecrated by the presence of the Englishmen, and at the head of a large retinue he started on wanderings that carried him over many thousand miles of Manchuria and China, always greatly to the annoyance of the Chinese authorities, for he was an unwelcome and expensive visitor.
“The Lama returns to Tibet via Hohanfu, Sian-su, and Sining. His departure has been delayed for thirty days on account of the deaths of the Emperor and the Dowager Empress, and there has been no exchange of farewells between him and the Prince Regent.
“The ruler of Tibet returns to Lhasa shorn of his temporal authorities; in the future he will be regarded as a mere ecclesiastic, pledged to support whatever reforms China desires to carry out in his country. He will not be permitted to communicate with the throne except through the Chinese Commissioner, the Amban, stationed at Lhasa.
“The Lama left Peking at dawn, and it is reported that he took his departure at this early hour in order to escape a repetition of the demonstrations against him that attended his arrival in Peking. There was a notable absence of ceremony in connection with his going. Only two small honorary pavilions dignified the railroad station upon this occasion, as compared with the many evidences of the desire of the Government to honour him when he came to Peking.
“His caravan is composed officially of 414 persons, 290 horses, 580 camels and eighty tents. The throne has conferred the title of ‘Sincere and Loyal Spreader of Civilization’ upon the Dalai Lama, and this title is an intimation of the course China expects him to pursue in the future. The Chinese Government is to-day considering the raising of funds for the establishment of banks and schools in Tibet, and also for the defence, the subdivision, and the political reorganization of the country.”