Politics

Dalai Lama Man of Many Faces: Exile, Spiritual Leader, Politician

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The Dalai Lama jokes with his nasal spray after being asked his opinion on the swine flu during a press conference. Aug. 4, 2009.

Credit:

Frabrice Coffrini

The Dalai Lama makes headlines again.

This week, the South African government, which has close ties with China, said it may block the spiritual leader from entering the country.

It's another manifestation of the always rocky relationship between China and the Dalai Lama, who fled an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet in 1959.

Who is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama?

Spiritual leader, political stalwart and Nobel Peace Prize winner, here are his many faces.

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    Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama addresses journalists in Dharamsala. Nov. 23, 2008. The Dalai Lama warned of the "great danger" facing the Tibetan people as he addressed leading exiles who had vowed continued support for his policy of seeking greater autonomy from China.

    Credit:

    Manan Vatsyayana

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    A visitor takes a picture of a wax sculpture of the Dalai Lama at the new Madame Tussauds wax museum in Vienna, during its inauguration. March 31, 2011.

    Credit:

    Samuel Kubani

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    Buddhist monks peer through an opening to catch a glimpse of Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama during a prayer session at The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya on Jan. 9, 2010.

    Credit:

    Diptendu Dutta

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    Tibetans gather to pray in Kathmandu, Nepal. March 10, 2009. March 10, 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of an attempted uprising against China by the Tibetan people, which eventually led to the Dalai Lama feeling the country in exile.

    Credit:

    Sebastian Meyer

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    The Dalai Lama jokes with his nasal spray after being asked his opinion on the swine flu during a press conference. Aug. 4, 2009.

    Credit:

    Frabrice Coffrini

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    The Dalai Lama speaks during the lecture in Tokyo, Japan. October 31, 2009.

    Credit:

    Kiyoshi Ota

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    Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama prostrates as he prays at the historical Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya in India's Bihar state. January 4, 2010.

    Credit:

    Diptendu Dutta

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    Buddhist monks wear red bandanas during special 'Avalokesteshvara Initiation' prayers during the fourth day of a teaching session led by the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya. Jan. 8, 2010.

    Credit:

    Diptendu Dutta

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    A Tibetan monk in exile looks on during a candle lit vigil to commemorate 50 years in exile in Dharamsala, India. March 10, 2009.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak

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    Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures upon receiving the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice in New Delhi. Nov. 18, 2010.

    Credit:

    Manan Vatsyayana

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    A Tibetan pilgrim walks with her butter lamp past a portrait of Beijing's Communist government-appointed candidate for the Dalai Lama, a boy called Gyaincain Norbu, in southern Tibet. Aug. 5, 2005.

    Credit:

    Federic J. Brown

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    People pass a portrait of the Dalai Lama with inscription "free Tibet" in Warsaw. July 6, 2011.

    Credit:

    Janek Skarzynski

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    The Dalai Lama, the Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, sits in a sofa in the reception room of the airport of Blagnac, near the French southwestern city of Toulouse. Aug. 12, 2011.

    Credit:

    Pascal Pavani

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    The Dalai Lama receives the the Democracy Service Medal from National Endowment during a ceremony at the Library of Congress. Feb. 19, 2010.

    Credit:

    Mark Wilson

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    The Dalai Lama gets a kiss from a boy in traditional Bavarian clothes as former Hesse State Premier Roland Koch looks on cheers upon his arrival in Passau, southern Germany. Sept. 21, 2010.

    Credit:

    Christof Stache

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    A Tibetan-in-exile nun prays by a ritual drawing during a ceremony to mark the 49th Tibetan Democracy Day at the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu. Sept. 2, 2009.

    Credit:

    Prakash Mathema

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    Tibetan Buddhist monks prepare a mandala - religious artwork made from coloured sand - during an exhibition at the Thank You India Festival in Bangalore. Nov. 23, 2009.

    Credit:

    Dibyangshu Sarkar

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    Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets practitioners during the Kalachakra for World Peace at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. July 6, 2011.

    Credit:

    Saul Loeb

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    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (C) listen while The 14th Dalai Lama speaks during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. July 7, 2011.

    Credit:

    Brendan Smialowski