Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has “no physical health problems” and is expected to be released from hospital late Sunday, a senior aide said.

The 73-year-old leader was taken to hospital in Mumbai on Thursday after complaining of “abdominal discomfort,” according to his aides.

“Doctors say he has no physical health problems except that he is physically exhausted,” Tenzin Taklha, secretary to the Dalai Lama, told AFP on Saturday.

“The Dalai Lama will be in hospital until tomorrow (Sunday) evening and after that he will be out of the hospital,” he said.

“He may stay in Mumbai for a few more days of rest,” Taklha added.

The Buddhist monk had joined Tibetans in a 12-hour fast on Saturday to draw attention to the human rights situation in their homeland and pray for world peace.

“He has started his fast from his hospital bed,” Taklha said.

In recent months, the Dalai Lama pursued a gruelling travel itinerary as he campaigned for improved human rights in Tibet while China readied to host the Olympic Games in Beijing.

In 2002 the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists was admitted to hospital after falling ill with stomach pains. An infection was later diagnosed.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and “liberated” it the following year. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama has been pursuing a “middle-path” policy — which espouses “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet, rather than full independence as many younger, more radical activists are demanding.

But China has vilified him as “mastermind” of what it called a drive to sabotage the Olympics and destabilise the country.

Violent protests against Beijing’s rule broke out across Tibet in March, sparking a heavy Chinese crackdown that has drawn global condemnation.

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