DHARAMSALA, India — The Dalai Lama has assured his followers that he is in excellent health upon his return Saturday to the Tibetan government-in-exile's headquarters in northern India.
Hundreds of Tibetans, holding incense sticks and scarves, lined the streets of Dharamsala town to celebrate the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader. Prayer flags fluttered and colorful banners with Tibetan symbols were strung across the streets of the mountain town in the Himalayan foothills.
The 80-year-old Dalai Lama said he had had a thorough medical checkup at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, U.S.A., and was in "excellent condition."
"But they advised me. I should take precaution," he told reporters. He did not give any other details.
The Tibetan leader's assurances came days after doctors at the Mayo Clinic instructed him to rest. He later canceled his October appearances in the United States.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader is a matter of concern for his followers across the world, and especially for the hundreds of thousands of Tibetans who live in India.
The Dalai Lama fled across the Himalayas into India after a failed uprising in Tibet in 1959. He settled in Dharamsala and set up a Tibetan government-in-exile there. Beijing accuses him of seeking to separate Tibet from China.
But Tibetans and the Dalai Lama say they simply want a high degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.