Esoteric questions of reincarnation rarely have real-world political consequences, but many fear the search for a successor to Tibet's Dalai Lama could inflame regional rivalries.

The 88-year-old spiritual leader, Tenzin Gyatso, has shown no indication of serious health issues, and has said that his dreams suggest he could live until he is 113.

But as Tibetans mark on Sunday the 65th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese forces that led to him fleeing into exile in India, the question of who will succeed their aging leader is in sharp focus.