Dalai Lama heads to US for medical treatment

Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is scheduled to undergo treatment for a prostrate condition in the United States this month, his office said Tuesday.

"The Buddhist leader would be undergoing prostate treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota followed by a period of rest from the end of January 2016 for approximately one month," a statement from his office said.

The Dalai Lama has his headquarters-in-exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, where he is expected to return in March.

The 80-year-old Nobel Peace laureate cut short a trip to the US in September after doctors at the Mayo Clinic advised him rest for several weeks after a medical check-up.

The Dalai Lama fled to India after China cracked down on a Tibetan uprising in 1959. Hundreds of Tibetans followed him and now live in exile in India in settlements.

Tibetan Buddhists believe the 14th Dalai Lama to be a current incarnation of their supreme Buddhist leader. Future leaders are spotted by monks chosen by the current Dalai Lama, and are believed to be reincarnations of predecessors.

The choice of the next Tibetan spiritual leader is a longstanding subject of dispute between Tibetans and the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama has been demanding greater autonomy for Tibet within China, whose central government has termed him a splittist.

Last update: Tue, 19/01/2016 - 13:28

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