DANGER ZONES: Crown in Peril

From the gilded rooftop of Lhasa's Potala Palace, heralds blew 14-foot-long copper trumpets. Below, in the building's ornate Assembly Hall, a bright-eyed, 16-year-old boy sat on a high throne, about which clustered Tibet's most powerful lamas, abbots and monks. They had come in the country's hour of peril, with Chinese Communist invaders lodged deep in the Himalayan upland, to witness the coronation of the 14th Dalai Lama, the reincarnated Buddha of Mercy. Hours of prayer and ritual reached a climax when the adolescent god-king accepted the great jade seal of supreme Tibetan...

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