World

Dalai Lama hospitalized with chest infection

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was admitted to a New Delhi hospital on Tuesday with a chest infection, an aide said, adding that the 83-year-old Buddhist monk was stable.

Spiritual leader expected to be in hospital 2 to 3 days

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama flew to New Delhi from Dharmsala for consultations with doctors and was hospitalized Tuesday with a chest infection. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press)

The Dalai Lama has been hospitalized in the Indian capital New Delhi with a chest infection, but is in stable condition, according to an aide.

Spokesperson Tenzin Taklha said the Dalai Lama is medicated and likely to spend a day or two in the hospital.

"Today morning his holiness felt some discomfort and he was flown to Delhi for checkup," Taklha, his personal secretary, told Reuters.

"Doctors have diagnosed him with chest infection and he is being treated for that. His condition is stable now. He will be treated for two three days here."

The Tibetan spiritual leader flew from Dharmsala for consultations with doctors in the capital and was hospitalized on Tuesday. The north Indian hill town has been his headquarters since he fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Seen as 'dangerous separatist' by China

He told Reuters last month that it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected.

Many of the up to 100,000 Tibetans living in India are worried that their fight for a genuinely autonomous homeland could end with the Dalai Lama.

China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist and has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama's successor, as a legacy inherited from China's emperors.

But many Tibetans, whose tradition holds that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death, see any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community. 

The Dalai Lama spends several months a year travelling the world to teach Buddhism and highlight the Tibetans' struggle for greater freedom in China.

With files from Reuters

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