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Dalai Lama Checks Into US Hospital

  • VOA News

FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, greets devotees as he arrives to give a talk at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, Sept. 7, 2015.

FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, greets devotees as he arrives to give a talk at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, Sept. 7, 2015.

Days after the Dalai Lama canceled all appearances for the month of October, the 80-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader checked into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

A Mayo spokeswoman confirmed that the Dalai Lama had checked into the Rochester clinic for a medical evaluation on Sunday. No other details were released.

The Dalai Lama has made regular visits to Rochester for medical care. Mayo Clinic last week confirmed his most recent visit was for a routine annual checkup but released no details, as is routine.

On Friday, the Dalai Lama's office said in a statement on its website that he had canceled his planned October U.S. appearances after doctors advised him to rest. The statement gave no more details about the Dalai Lama's condition, and there was no update on the website as of Monday.

"The doctors have advised His Holiness to rest for the next several weeks," the statement said. "We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this decision and apologize to all the people who have worked so hard in organizing the visit as well as to the public."

The Dalai Lama lives in exile in India.

US events canceled

Among the Dalai Lama's canceled appearances next month was a planned visit to the University of Colorado in Boulder as well as appearances in Salt Lake City and Philadelphia.

The Dalai Lama's checkup came as Pope Francis concluded his first-ever visit to the United States, and heads of state and diplomats were gathering for the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Last week, the spiritual leader raised some eyebrows during an interview with the BBC, when he was asked about his potential successor.

He said he’d be open to a female successor but only if she was attractive. “The face must be very attractive,” he said. “Otherwise, not much use.”

It's unclear if the Dalai Lama was joking, but he later made a quip about his own handsomeness.

Some material for this report came from AP and Reuters.

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