The 66- year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is in a hospital in Bombay, India after complaining of stomach pains. The hospital says he is in good spirits, talking and able to move around.
A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said the decision to go to Bombay was taken after a team of doctors examined him and advised him to undergo more tests. One report said they had detected a lump in his stomach. His test results will be available on Monday.
He arrived at the airport by helicopter from a Buddhist monastery at Bodghaya, where he has been staying. Witnesses said he walked onto the plane unaided and did not speak to reporters.
The Dalai Lama?s personal physician, Tsen Dorji Sadutshang, says the acute abdominal pains had first started in the middle of December and the problem has persisted despite treatment with both Tibetan and Western remedies.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 with thousands of supporters after a failed uprising against China. Since then, he has headed a government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
His illness reminds Tibetans of the major problem they will have choosing his successor after he dies. The former Panchen Lama, Tibet?s second most important spiritual leader, who remained behind in Tibet when the Dalai Lama fled, died in 1989. The new Panchen Lama, a young boy who was recognized by the nation?s religious community as his reincarnation, was taken away by the Chinese and a boy of their own choosing was substituted. The Panchen Lama traditionally has an important role to play in recognizing the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. But it?s doubtful that the nation will accept the choice of a Panchen Lama who has been put in place by the Chinese and is under their control, and this could lead to the downfall of the traditional Tibetan religion and way of life. The Dalai Lama has stated that he will not be reincarnated into a country that is controlled by the Chinese.
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