Chinese General Tan Guan San, attending a religious dance at the Potala, mentions to the Dalai Lama that a new dance troupe had come to Lhasa. The Dalai Lama says he would like to see it and suggests a performance at the newly built auditorium at the PLA Military HQ. (Tsering Shakya) No date is set.
Dalai Lama leaves for Norbulingka, in a grand procession, after the conclusion of the Monlam Prayer Festival in Lhasa.
Dalai Lama agrees to attend the Chinese show, three days later, on the 10th of March.
Tibetan officials receive information of the Dalai Lama’s attending show at the Chinese Military HQ, in their morning tea assembly. Some worried officials spread the news to the public and monasteries.
From dawn crowds being streaming towards the Norbulingka. By late morning nearly 30 thousand people have collected outside the front wall.
According to the Dalai Lama around 9.am, two of his officials, assistant minister (kalon chagrok) Shengka Gyurme and surrogate minister (katsab) Niushar Thupten Tharpa, managed to get through the crowd and enter the gate without problem.
But minister Sampho who arrived next at the Norbulingka in his car driven by a Chinese driver provokes the crowd. Though he was wearing his official robes (and not Chinese uniform as one account claims), the people start throwing stones. One hits the minister. Palace guards and bystanders help him and take him to the infirmary at the Indian consulate nearby.
Minister Surkhang arrives. He gets out from his jeep and walks directly through the angry crowd which is shouting “Don’t sell out Dalai Lama for Chinese silver”. Surkhang apologizes continuously to the crowd, and walks through.
About 11 o’clock (according to DL) a monk official Phakpala Khenchung, Sonam Gyaltsen, riding a bicycle and wearing goggles and a face-mask and carrying a pistol, is stoned by the crowd and killed. The enraged crowd now demand to see the Dalai Lama.
Using a microphone, Senior minister Surkhang speaks to the crowd and tries to placate it. He reassures the crowd that the Dalai Lama will not attend the Chinese show. He also tells them that it would be impossible for all of them to see the Dalai Lama and that they should pick a limited number of representatives who could enter the Norbulingka walls. About sixty representatives are selected. Their first meeting takes place inside the Norbulingka at the Shabten Lhakang, prayer hall.
The people’s representative gather at the new Government Printing Press in Shol, along with members of the Tibetan National Assembly, and this gathering is called the Tibetan Peoples Representatives Conference (Bhod Mimang Thunmi Lhentsok). This conference unanimously demands the formal declaration of Tibetan independence and the return of Chinese troops in Tibet to China.
Women’s demonstration. Other demonstrations take place in subsequent days.
MORNING two artillery shells land near the Dalai Lama's palace. Tibetan troops want to attack Chinese camp nearby. Surkhang stops them. Within hours the decision is taken for the escape of the Dalai Lama his family and the Tibetan cabinet, with the exception of Ngabo, who was at the PLA HQ. Sampho had been transferred from the Indian infirmary to the Chinese Military Hospital in north Lhasa.
9:30 pm 1st Group to escape is the Dalai Lama’s mother and other members of family in a covered truck to the Ramagang ferry.
10 pm The Dalai Lama and retinue walk out of Norbulingka for some distance. Then Dalai Lama rides on prearranged horse to the ferry point.
10:30 pm (approx.) Surkhang and other cabinet minister including Dalai Lama’s two tutors and attendants leave in a covered truck to the ferry point.
Another Women’s Demonstration. Preparations are being made by the Tibetan Peoples Representatives Conference, who take charge and order weapons from the Shol armory to be distributed, etc. Chinese put up barricades and defences in front of their offices and other buildings.
Public hear rumor of the Dalai Lamas departure.
Early 2am Shelling of Norbulingka. Other accounts say 2:30. Chinese (SHN) claims 3:40. Shelling continues for 4 hrs. At dawn artillery barrage lifts. Chinese launch an infantry attack, or more probably a probing offensive but Tibetan defenders in Norbulingka push it back. According to Khetsun, Gyangtse soldiers on the north wall fired on the Chinese truck depot north of Norbulingka. Amdo defenders on the west wall fired at the Chinese camp at Nortoe lingka. They had a clear view of the enemy. The rest of the defenders especially on the south side did not, and just had to endure the barrage.
The Chinese attack/probe which came from the camp at Shugtri Lingka may have been deterred by Tibetan artillery and mortar fire from Chakpori.
Chinese Artillery barrage shifts to Shol, Potala and Chagpori.
Tibetan artillery and mortars emplacements at Chagpori fires on Chinese camps at Shugtri Lingka and PLA Military HQ.
Chinese at Shugtri Lingka launched an attack on the Chagpori which is pushed back.
Fighting at Barkhor and Tsuglakhang. Artillery shells from Police defenders fired at Zumphue Chinese police station. Chinese artillery also fires on Ramoche. Police with artillery and mortars fire on Gonganju HQ in Barkhor (Surkhang house) and Chinese offices at Yuthok.
Late morning Chinese infantry also attacks the Norbulingka, preceded by an artillery bombardment. Blow up Norbulingka gate and enter.
Tibetan volunteers and police attack Chinese Military Hospital to get to Shol. Many killed.
Chinese also start intense bombardment of Chakpori. At Chakpori the commander of the Chakpori defense organizes volunteers to collects mortar and artillery shells from the largest ammunition depot in Lhasa called the Ghomzdoe Dorjeeling , just behind the Iron hill and just above the Gateway to Lhasa. Keeps up shelling of Chinese camp at Shugtri Lingka. After two or three hours a Chinese artillery shell lands directly on the ammunition depot and the whole place explodes with an enormous roar, heard all over Lhasa above the sound of the artillery and rifle-fire.
3:pm mortar or artillery fire on Jokhang.
4pm: approx. four armored cars come inside Barkhor. Defenders on roof of Jokhang fire on them and throw grenades. Pushed back.
Towards evening Chinese artillery completely destroys buildings on the Chakpori. Volunteers told to leave. Remaining Drapchi soldiers fight to last man in the subsequent Chinese attack on Iron Hill.
In the city volunteer attack on Lubug, and the New Light cinema. Catch Chinese defenders by surprise, killing many.
Lhasa Daily office attacked by Banagshol Khampas and other volunteers. Many defenders killed and office destroyed. Bank of China office at Kyitoepa also attacked and burnt.
PLA troops encircle Jokhang. Intense firefight. Late evening about 50 policeman break out of Jokhang from behind and fight the in the Barkhor. They break out the Chinese encirclement and escape.
More mortar fire on the Jokhang. Return fire from Jokhang has decreased.
In the evening Chinese tanks (Soviet T54) arrive from Nagchukhha or Damshung (where the major Chinese military airbase was located) and connected to Lhasa with motor road now arrive in the city and put and end to all pockets of resistance. They also surround the city and block all exits and roads. Earlier the Chinese did not have any tanks in the city.
6pm announcements made on loudspeakers that Nobulingka, Chakpori, and Potala taken. “That days for the first time the Chinese flag was flying on the top of the Potala”. Sporadic firing still continued.
Last pockets of Tibetan resistance overcome by PLA. In address to Parliament Nehru expresses concern about the situation in Tibet and the safety of the Dalai Lama.
Dalai Lama makes a formal declaration of Tibet a free and independent nation and announces the formation of a provisional Tibetan government at Lhuntse Dzong.
China announces suppression of the Uprising and dissolution of the Tibetan government.
31st March: The Dalai Lama and entourage reached the Indian border check-post at Chudhangmo in the evening. Received by border guards and Indian official Rinak Yaba Sonam Topgyal (of Sikkim).