Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, center, leaves from a hospital, in New Delhi, India, Friday, April 12, 2019. The Dalai Lama has been discharged from a New Delhi hospital after recovering from a chest infection. The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader says he is feeling ''normal, almost normal.'' The Dalai Lama was hospitalized on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rishi Lekhi)

Dalai Lama says he feels almost normal as he leaves hospital

April 12, 2019 - 12:22 am

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Dalai Lama said he felt "normal, almost normal" as he left the New Delhi hospital where he had been treated for a chest infection.

The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader looked pale but strong and spoke cheerfully to The Associated Press as he walked out of the building after being discharged Friday morning. He had been hospitalized on Tuesday after coming to the capital to consult with doctors.

He is likely to return this week to the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala that has been his headquarters since he fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama usually spends several months a year traveling the world to teach Buddhism and highlight the Tibetans' struggle for greater freedom in China. But he has cut down on travel in the past year as he has to take care of his health.

China doesn't recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile and hasn't held any dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama since 2010. Beijing accuses him of seeking to separate Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama denies being a separatist and says he merely advocates for substantial autonomy and protection of the region's native Buddhist culture.

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