Dalai Lama heads to US for prostate treatment

Dharamsala, Jan 19 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will undergo treatment in the US later this month for a prostate problem, his office said on Tuesday.

“His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, is scheduled to undergo prostate treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, followed by rest for approximately one month from January-end,” the Dalai Lama’s office said in a statement here. The Tibetan leader will resume his regular schedule in March.

Before leaving this north Indian hill town for the US, the elderly Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters at the airport: “If they find any problem, they can carry out treatment.”

Pointing a finger towards one of his swollen eyes, he said he had a minor swelling in his right eye.

The 80-year-old Nobel laureate earlier cancelled his planned visit to the US on the advice of doctors after a medical check-up at the Mayo Clinic in September last year. The doctors had advised him to rest for the next several weeks.

The Buddhist monk had undergone a gall bladder surgery in 2008 in New Delhi. In August that year, he was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai twice following abdominal discomfort.

The Dalai Lama, who is revered as a spiritual leader in the Orient and the West, favours “greater autonomy” for people in Tibet rather than complete independence.

Chinese leaders have, in fact, called him a separatist — one who wants Tibet to secede from China.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland Tibet in 1959. The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based here.

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