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Tibetans Celebrate Dalai Lama's 71st Birthday


Thousands of Tibetan exiles have gathered in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala to celebrate the 71st birthday of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The exiles joined hundreds of foreign admirers of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They offered prayers for his birthday and danced through the streets to traditional Tibetan songs.

But they also voiced their concern for his health. On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama canceled a European tour that was to begin in Finland next week.

His private office in Dharamsala -- the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile -- said doctors have ordered him to rest.

The Dalai Lama does not attend celebrations for his birthday and was not present at Thursday festivities.

The spiritual leader has lived in exile in India since 1959, when he fled his homeland after a failed revolt against Chinese rule in Tibet.
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