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Recovering Dalai Lama to leave India hospital soon: aide

October 14, 2008

October 11, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama is in a stable
condition after surgery in India to remove gallstones and is likely
to be discharged early next week, hospital officials and an aide said Saturday.

The Buddhist leader, 73, had the keyhole procedure in New Delhi on
Friday, a day after he was hospitalised for medical tests after
suffering abdominal pain.

A similar episode in August had forced the Nobel Laureate to cancel
his engagements and rush to a hospital in Mumbai.

"He is doing fine. He will be discharged maybe in a day or two," said
an official at the city's Ganga Ram hospital, where he is being treated.

The Dalai Lama's spokesman, Tenzin Taklha, said the spiritual leader
was likely to be discharged from hospital on Monday or Tuesday.

"He is recovering fast but after his release from hospital on Monday
or Tuesday he will remain in New Delhi at least for a week for
check-ups at the hospital and then he will return to Dharamshala,"
Taklha said by telephone.

The Dalai Lama is headquartered in the northern Indian hilltop town
where he set up base after fleeing from his Tibetan homeland in China
in 1959 following a failed anti-Chinese uprising.

The Dalai Lama spokesman said the 1989 Nobel peace prize winner would
still visit Japan as planned, as well as resume his Buddhist
teachings a week after returning to Dharamshala.

"A scheduled one-week trip to Japan however stands and His Holiness
will leave India by the end of this month," Taklha told AFP.

"But right now we want him to get as much rest as possible," he added.

After he was released from hospital on September 1 following tests to
determine the cause of the earlier bout of pain, his office cancelled
a planned October tour to Germany and Switzerland, citing health reasons.

In the weeks preceding his illness, the Dalai Lama had pursued a
hectic international itinerary as he campaigned for improved human
rights in Tibet while China hosted the Olympic Games in August.

Beijing has accused him of masterminding riots against Chinese rule
in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and neighbouring areas with Tibetan
populations in March in order to destabilise the country -- a claim he denies.
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