“Can you suck my tongue?”: Dalai Lama apologizes for bizarre video with child (VIDEO)

Apr 10 2023, 4:35 pm

Editor’s note: This article mentions and discusses the sexual abuse of minors, which some readers may find disturbing.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has apologized after a video showed him kissing a young boy on the lips and asking him, “Can you suck my tongue?”

In a resurfaced video, a child asks to hug the Dalai Lama and is invited on stage. The Dalai Lama says, “First here,” and points to his cheek. The boy kisses it. Then he points to his mouth and says, “I think fine here also.” They touch lips, and the audience claps.

The Dalai Lama then holds the boy’s chin and laughs. Next, he sticks out his tongue and asks the boy to suck it. The boy briefly sticks out his tongue as they touch foreheads before backing away.

Many have condemned the religious leader, deeming the footage shocking and disturbing.

Sticking out your tongue is a form of greeting in Tibet. However, Haq: Center for Child Rights, a social services NGO in India, provided a statement to CNN, saying that the video is “certainly not about any cultural expression and even if it is, such cultural expressions are not acceptable.”

The incident occurred at an event for the M3M Foundation at the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala, Northern India. From his temple, the Dalai Lama operates as leader of a government-in-exile, having fled escape conflict with the Chinese government over Tibet’s political status and autonomy. Millions hold him in high esteem, considering him the reincarnation of his 13 predecessors.

On Monday, the Dalai Lama released a statement written in the third person on Twitter.

“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,” it reads. “His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras.”

But this apology has not gone over well, with many saying there are “no excuses” for such behaviour.

This is not the first controversy to surround the 14th Dalai Lama.

Despite preaching about tolerance and peace, he made several controversial comments about migrants during a trip to Sweden.

“The whole of Europe [will] eventually become a Muslim country? Impossible. Or an African country? Also impossible,” he said, adding that he believed it would be better to “keep Europe for Europeans.”

Harry LinleyHarry Linley

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