By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama greets a little girl upon his arrival at his hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania, June 12, 2018, Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, June 13: Following reports in the Indian media that the Tibetan leader is suffering from advanced stage prostrate cancer, the Tibetan leader’s Secretary and personal physician among others have hit out against the development, disparaging them as “fake” and “false news”. On the contrary, authorities said the Dalai Lama is enjoying “excellent health”.The Quint
in a report published on Tuesday citing “credible source” claimed that the octogenarian Tibetan leader is suffering from advanced stage prostate cancer and has been undergoing treatment in the US for the last two years. The report also claimed that both the Indian and Chinese government are aware of the Tibetan leader’s alleged deterioration in his health.
The private secretary to the Dalai Lama and a senior staffer in the Tibetan leader’s office Chemi Rigzin told reporters that such claims are contrary to the truth saying the 82-year-old who is on a trip to Baltic states would not have made the journey if the reports held any weight. He said that apart from age related mild knee problems, the Dalai Lama is in “great health.”
The personal physician to the Dalai Lama Dr Tseten Dorjee, told The New Indian Express. “This is fake news. He is doing very well, and if that was not the case he would not have given discourses for 3 days in a row and taken this 10-day trip to Latvia and Lithuania.” Dr. Tsetan said that the Tibetan people and his followers’ world over has no reasons to worry about the Dalai lama’s health.
The spokesperson of Central Tibetan Administration Sonam Dagpo, Secretary, International Relations also chimed in the discourse saying, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in excellent health. He himself has repeatedly told the Tibetans that he is in excellent health despite his age and not to worry.”
While there is overwhelming response over the development in social media sites and online debunking the report and ire over what some called irresponsible journalism, the origin of the news can be traced back to a report published on April 8 by Artvoice, an American online publication covering arts and news nationally and internationally.
The two reports share uncanny similarities in their claim over the Tibetan leader’s alleged deterioration in health as well as claiming to divulge details that many are now calling a stunt to drum up readership as well as having “ulterior motives”.