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'Exhausted' Dalai Lama cancels Botswana trip

The Dalai Lama has cancelled a planned visit to Botswana "due to exhaustion".

A statement on the website of the Tibetan spiritual leader said he has written to the president of the southern African nation expressing "profound regret". The 82 year old was due to arrive in Botswana on Tuesday.

The Chinese government, which has been known to exert pressure on countries not to host the Dalai Lama, had warned against the Botswana visit.

The Dalai Lama's statement said he thanked Botswana's president and government "for their unwavering principled stand to welcome him to their country, despite overwhelming pressure not to do so".

The statement also said that "during the past few weeks, His Holiness has found that carrying out his activities has left him unusually tired". It concluded by saying doctors have warned him against long journeys.

AP

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