In Brief

Dalai Lama taken to hospital in India

Spiritual leader in stable condition, says his personal aide

wd-dalai_lama.jpg

The Dalai Lama has been admitted to hospital in Delhi with a chest infection, says an aide.

After the 83-year-old Buddhist monk “felt some discomfort” he was flown to Delhi for a check-up yesterday and is now in a stable condition, says Tenzin Taklha, his personal secretary.

Taklha added: “Doctors have diagnosed him with a 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 fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He now lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, where India officially calls him a “most esteemed and honoured guest”.

China took control of Tibet in 1950 and its rulers see the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist. The selection of his eventual successor when he dies remains a matter of deep controversy.

Beijing says it has the right to choose a successor but the Dalai Lama stated last month that when he dies his incarnation could be found in India. He warned that any successor named by China would not be respected by his followers.

According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the soul of its most senior lama is reincarnated into the body of a child.

But the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says that the “reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese laws and regulations and follow religious rituals and historical conventions”.

There could also be geopolitical ramifications: many of the up to 100,000 Tibetans living in India fear that their struggle for a truly autonomous homeland would collapse when the Dalai Lama passes away.

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