DHARMSALA, India (AP)_ The Karmapa, the Tibetan Buddhist leader who fled Tibet in January, celebrated his first birthday in exile Monday. The Karmapa turned 15.

Wearing sunglasses and looking pale from a recent bout of flu, the Karmapa sat through a performance by troupes of Tibetan dancers from all over India.

The Karmapa thanked the Indian people for giving him sanctuary. A small group of Westerners sang happy birthday.

Most of the cabinet of the Tibetan government-in-exile attended the ceremony. The Dalai Lama is visiting the United States.

The Karmapa's departure from Tibet at earlier this year led to widespread speculation that he is being groomed to succeed the Dalai Lama as political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.