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Dalai Lama released from hospital, says he feels 'normal'

NEW DELHI — The Dalai Lama was released from an Indian hospital on Friday, saying he felt "normal, almost normal" after being 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 New Delhi hospital after being discharged.

The Dalai Lama was 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, which 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 Tibetans' struggle for greater freedom in China. But he has cut down on travel in the past year in order to take care of his health.

China doesn't recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile and accuses the Dalai Lama 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.

At an event with educators in New Delhi earlier this month, the Dalai Lama said he was not seeking independence for Tibet, but rather a "reunion" with China under mutually acceptable terms.

The Dalai Lama also predicted that the political impasse with China could change if he lived for at least another decade.