Thousands gather to celebrate Dalai Lama's 75th birthday

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Thousands of supporters will gather today to celebrate the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday.

The Nobel laureate will address a crowd of 5,000 fans and followers at his temple in McLeod Ganj, a hill station in the Indian Himalayas where he has lived since fleeing Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

In apparently fine health and showing no signs of slowing down despite his advanced years, the Buddhist spiritual leader will break with recent birthday tradition and greet well-wishers in person.

China considers the Dalai Lama a "splittist" despite his repeated calls for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet, where riots against Chinese rule flared in March 2008....

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