Dalai Lama to undergo medical checkup

AP, Oct 6, 2008

NEW DELHI, India -- The Dalai Lama will undergo a second medical checkup in as many months while he recovers from exhaustion, a spokesman for the Tibetan spiritual leader said Monday.

The 73-year-old Dalai Lama leader is scheduled to arrive in the Indian capital later Monday from Dharmsala, a north Indian hill town where he set up his headquarters after fleeing Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

"The Dalai Lama is going to New Delhi today for a routine checkup and will be back in Dharmsala on Oct. 9," Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, the spokesman, told The Associated Press.

He declined to say why the Dalai Lama needed another checkup less than six weeks after he was admitted to a Mumbai hospital and underwent tests for abdominal discomfort. He spent four days in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital.

Tenzin Taklha, the Dalai Lama's official spokesman, said in September that the spiritual leader was in good condition but doctors had advised him to rest as much as possible.

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

After a March outbreak of violence in Tibet, China stepped up its campaign to vilify the Dalai Lama, blaming him for the unrest, which Beijing says was part of a campaign to split the Himalayan region from the rest of China.

The Dalai Lama has denied the allegations, saying he is only seeking greater autonomy for Tibet to protect its unique Buddhist culture.