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Dalai Lama cancels engagements to rest

Doctors blamed the Dalai Lama's recent illness on exhaustion
Doctors blamed the Dalai Lama's recent illness on exhaustion  

DHARAMSALA, India -- Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has cancelled all appointments for three months to give him time to recover from his recent bowel infection, officials at his private office say.

Samdhong Rinpoche, chief minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, based in the northern Indian hill-town of Dharamsala, said the Dalai Lama would extend a scheduled five-week retreat until the end of April.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was discharged from hospital in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, earlier this month after receiving treatment for an infection that doctors said was caused by an amoeba.

Samdhong said the illness was caused by exhaustion brought on by the Dalai Lama's hectic schedule.

He said doctors had advised the 66-year old Dalai Lama to take complete rest for three months, although he added the Tibetan spiritual leader was feeling much better.

The announcement means planned visits to North America and Europe will have to be put off.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with thousands of followers in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Thirty years later, in 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent campaign against Chinese rule in his homeland.

His recent illness caused a scare among supporters of Tibetan independence raising questions of what might happen to the campaign without his high-profile leadership.


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