Dalai Lama apologises for kissing boy on video

By, Dharamshala
Apr 11, 2023 12:18 AM IST

In a statement shared on his official website and Twitter handle, the Buddhist monk said he regretted the incident

The Dalai Lama on Monday issued an apology to a minor boy and his family after a video of the 87-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader kissing the child surfaced on social media, sparking outrage.

The Dalai Lama (REUTERS)
The Dalai Lama (REUTERS)

In a statement shared on his official website and Twitter handle, the Buddhist monk said he regretted the incident.

“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,” the statement by his private office said.

The incident occurred on February 28 at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharamsala, where the spiritual leader and the Tibetan government-in-exile are based, when executives of a Gurugram-based real estate group and their families had an audience with the Dalai Lama after their annual convention in the Himachal Pradesh town, a witness said seeking anonymity.

In the video, which was widely shared on social media, the Dalai Lama can be seen inviting the boy to the platform where he was seated, and gesturing to his cheek, after which the child kissed him before giving him a hug.

The boy then asked if could kiss the Dalai Lama, following which the leader could be heard saying, “You can also suck my tongue”.

In the statement issued on Monday, the leader’s office said, “His Holiness often teases people he meets in an ‘innocent and playful’ way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”

This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has courted controversy. Four years ago, he issued an apology after outrage over his comments that if a woman were to take his position, she should be “attractive”.

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    Naresh K Thakur is a staff reporter in Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. Based at Dharamshala, he covers Tibetan affairs, local politics and environmental issues.

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