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Associated Press – August 27, 2008
DHARMSALA, India – The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was suffering from exhaustion and has canceled two planned international trips to undergo medical tests, his office said Wednesday.
The 73-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner had been “experiencing some discomfort in the past couple of days,” a statement from his office said, adding that his doctors had diagnosed him as suffering from “exhaustion.”
The Dalai Lama has just returned from an 11-day visit to France, capping an intense few months since the violent uprising against Chinese rule in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in March and the subsequent Chinese crackdown.
The Dalai Lama spends several months a year traveling the globe to highlight the struggle of Tibetans for greater freedom from China and to teach Buddhism.
He canceled two upcoming trips to Mexico and the Dominican Republic and would rest over the next three weeks, said Thupten Samphel, the spokesman of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile.
Samphel said the holy man would travel to Mumbai for medical tests before returning to the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala to recuperate. He gave no further details on his condition.
“All his appointments and visits for the coming three weeks have been canceled,” said Samphel. While the Dalai Lama is generally thought to be in good health, this is not the first time he has had to cancel events due to exhaustion.
The Dalai Lama has had his headquarters in Dharmsala since fleeing Tibet in 1959 after an abortive uprising against China.
Since the outbreak of violence in Tibet, China has stepped up its campaign to vilify him, blaming him for recent unrest, which Beijing says was part of a campaign to split the Himalayan region from the rest of China.
He has denied the allegations, saying that despite the violence he only wants greater autonomy for the Himalayan region to protect its Buddhist culture.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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