After a purported video of the Dalai Lama kissing a boy on the lips and asking him to ‘suck his tongue’ sparked outrage on Sunday, the spiritual leader of Tibet has now issued an apology.
The official Twitter handle of the Buddhist monk said that he regrets the ‘hurt’ induced by his words. The statement added that he tends to interact with people in a ‘playful and innocent’ manner.
“A video clip has been circulating that shows a recent meeting when a young boy asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug. His Holiness wishes to apologise to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused. His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident,” the statement read.
The widely circulated visuals showed the Dalai Lama sticking out his tongue and asking the boy to suck on it while latter was paying his respects.
Netizens expressed shock and disapproval of the incident, with many terming the action as “creepy”, “disgusting”, and “repulsive”. Users also commented on the troubling behaviour of other people seen in the footage, who seemed unperturbed by the incident.
The Dalai Lama had earlier courted controversy in 2019 for saying that if his successor were to be a woman, she should be "more attractive". He had later apologised for the statement.