Dalai Lama wants to meet ailing Mandela

Dharamsala, July 1 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama wants to pay his respects to his ailing friend and former South African president Nelson Mandela, an aide said here Monday.

“His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) is keen to pay respects to his long-time friend Nelson Mandela, provided it doesn’t cause any inconvenience to anyone, individuals or the government there,” an aide of the Dalai Lama told IANS.

“If South Africa is comfortable with his visit, he would be happy to meet personally Mandela’s family members,” he added.

The spiritual leader last week expressed concern over the deteriorating health of Mandela, saying “everybody is praying now”.

The 94-year-old Mandela has been hospitalised in Pretoria for the past three weeks for a recurring lung infection.

Last time the Dalai Lama met Mandela was Nov 5, 2004 in Johannesburg, according to a post on Dalai Lama’s official website.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet after a failed uprising in 1959.

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