Dalai Lama 'doing fine' after chest infection puts him in hospital

The Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama. Photo credit: Reuters

The Dalai Lama was "doing fine" after being admitted to a New Delhi hospital with a chest infection, an aide says.

The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader is doing fine, the aide says, as social media users prayed for the Buddhist monk's fast recovery.

The Dalai Lama lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala after fleeing in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

"His Holiness is doing fine now," Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, the Dalai Lama's press secretary, told Reuters.

The Dalai Lama was admitted to hospital on Tuesday after complaining of discomfort and was later diagnosed with a chest infection, his personal secretary said, adding he would spend a few days in hospital.

A hospital official declined to comment on his medical condition, citing patient confidentiality.

Many of his supporters posted messages on social media wishing him a speedy recovery.

"Concerned that he has been hospitalised," tweeted Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of India's eastern state of Odisha.

"The world needs him."

About 100,000 Tibetans live in India and many worry that their fight for a genuinely autonomous homeland would end with the Dalai Lama.

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

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 - suspect any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community.

Reuters