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Dalai Lama Set to Leave Hospital

January 28, 2002

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BOMBAY, India (AP) _ Suffering from an upset stomach, the Dalai Lama was ``feeling fine″ and set to be released Monday from a hospital where he was admitted after ill health forced him away from a key prayer ceremony for Tibetan Buddhists.

The 66-year-old Tibetan leader was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Bombay on Sunday after doctors who examined him in the eastern state of Bihar said there was a lump in his stomach.

``He had a normal breakfast this morning and is recovering well. The Dalai Lama was angry at reports that he had a tumor,″ Prakash Mhatre, director of operations at Lilavati Hospital.

``He had an upset stomach and is feeling fine after being put on a course of antibiotics,″ Mhatre said after the spiritual leader underwent more tests Monday morning.

Mhatre said frequent travel may have caused the abdominal pains that the Tibetan leader had experienced before and during the special prayers called Kalchakra, or Wheel of Time, in the eastern Indian town of Gaya.

The Dalai Lama was initially advised to rest for three days, but his illness forced him to miss several special prayer sessions during the week. The rituals were postponed until next winter.

On Thursday, he also postponed his teachings before tens of thousands of followers at the ceremony. He said he would not be able to sustain the rituals, which require him to sit still for at least five hours.

A medical checkup at the same hospital in early December had returned normal tests, Mhatre said.

The Dalai Lama had been complaining of abdominal pain and exhaustion and was examined by a team of doctors in a Buddhist monastery in Bodhgaya, a complex of temples in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. It then was decided he would fly to Bombay.

A member of the medical team, A.M. Rai, said the Dalai Lama had a lump in his stomach.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 with thousands of supporters after a failed uprising against China. Since then, he has headed a government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle against Chinese rule.

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