Dalai Lama apologizes after asking boy to ‘suck his tongue’
New Delhi, Apr 10 (EFE).- The Dalai Lama apologized on Monday after a video showing him kissing a child on the lips and asking him to “suck his tongue” during an event sparked a wave of outrage.
“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 apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused,” an official statement said.
“His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident,” it added.
The video shows the Dalai Lama kissing the young boy on the lips during an event in the presence of other adults and then touching foreheads with him.
“Can you suck my tongue?” the Buddhist leader then asks, before sticking out his tongue.
The Dalai Lama also triggered a controversy in the past, when he said that if he was succeeded by a woman, she would have to be “more attractive.”
Born as Lhamo Dondhup, the 14th Dalai Lama was born on Jul. 6, 1935 in Taktser in eastern Tibet and was named the next spiritual leader of his community at the age of two.
He was forced to flee to India along with thousands of his compatriots after a significant number of Tibetans took up arms in 1959 in what turned out to be a failed uprising against Chinese rule over the region that was eventually crushed by the People’s Liberation Army.
He has since continued to fight for greater autonomy for Tibet based on the principles of non-violence, a form of struggle that was internationally recognized when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Tibet, a mountainous region spread over a plateau in the Himalayas – with an average elevation of around 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) – has historically grappled to assert its sovereignty and autonomy from China, which insists it has been a part of its territory for centuries. EFE