A TOP level meeting to confirm the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most important religious leader, got under way amid tight security and official secrecy in Beijing.. Guards surrounded the Jingxi Hotel in western Beijing yesterday afternoon, site of the meeting where close to 100 high ranking lamas and Tibetan party and government officials are expected to select a rival candidate to the six-year-old boy recognised by the Dalai Lama as the true incarnation of the Panchen Lama. The Jingxi Hotel is commonly used by high ranking party and government officials for major meetings and was most recently the site of the fifth plenary meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee. An official from the State Council's Religious Affairs Bureau refused to confirm the meeting but indirectly acknowledged it was already in progress. 'In case of central Government meetings, we cannot make an announcement until there has been a result,' he said. The Dalai Lama's government-in-exile said Tibetan Lamas had been forced to attend the meeting in Beijing as a 'test of their nationalism and political stand'. Several feigned illness in order to avoid collaborating with Beijing in the selection of a rival candidate but had been ordered to attend, the government-in-exile said. It is not known whether lamas will be required to conduct religious rituals such as the golden urn ceremony during the meeting or whether they will simply debate the outcome of rituals already concluded in Lhasa. The meeting was probably being held in Beijing to avoid any possible disruption or disturbance in the Tibetan capital, analysts said.