New Delhi and Dharamshala, India(CNN) The Dalai Lama has apologized after a video emerged displaying the non secular chief kissing a little one on the lips and then asking him to “suck my tongue” at an occasion in northern India.
In a assertion Monday, the workplace for the Dalai Lama mentioned he “wishes to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused,” including he “regrets” the incident.
“His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras,” the assertion mentioned.
His apology comes after a video of the change, which came about throughout an occasion in the hillside metropolis of Dharamshala in February, went viral on social media with many customers criticizing the Dalai Lama’s actions.
In the video, the younger boy will be seen approaching the Nobel Peace Prize winner earlier than asking, “Can I hug you?”
The 87-year-old non secular chief then invitations the boy on stage and factors to his cheek and says, “first here,” prompting the boy to give him a hug and a kiss.
The Dalai Lama then factors to his lips, and says: “then I think finally here also.” He then pulls the boy’s chin and kisses him on the mouth.
“And suck my tongue,” he says after a few seconds, poking his tongue out.
The id of the boy just isn’t identified. He was at an occasion with the M3M Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Indian actual property firm M3M Group, primarily based in Dharamshala, the place the Dalai Lama lives in everlasting exile. CNN has reached out to the M3M Foundation for remark.
In response to the incident, distinguished Delhi-based little one rights group, Haq: Center for Child Rights, instructed CNN in a assertion it condemns “all form of child abuse.”
It added: “Some news refers to Tibetan culture about showing tongue, but this video is certainly not about any cultural expression and even if it is, such cultural expressions are not acceptable.”
The present Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the best-known residing Buddhist determine in the world.
The principal non secular chief of the “Yellow Hat” college of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is revered by thousands and thousands as the reincarnation of his 13 predecessors.
The non secular chief has been primarily based in India since 1959, following an unsuccessful Tibetan rebellion towards Chinese occupation forces. He later established a government-in-exile in the northern Indian metropolis of Dharamshala, main 1000’s of Tibetans who adopted him there.
February’s incident is not the first time the octogenarian has sparked controversy in recent years.
He apologized after a 2019 interview with the BBC, throughout which he mentioned if a feminine Dalai Lama ought to succeed him, she “should be more attractive.”
The earlier 12 months, he urged Europe ought to be saved for Europeans, when talking about the rising degree of African refugees coming into the continent.
“The whole Europe (will) eventually become Muslim country? Impossible. Or African country? Also impossible,” he mentioned, including that it is higher to “keep Europe for Europeans.”