The Dalai Lama issued an apology on Monday after a video of him kissing a child on the lips at a Buddhist event went viral, sparking widespread criticism and debate online.
In an official statement, the spiritual leader’s office said: “The Dalai Lama often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way. 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.”
It continued: “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 Dalai Lama, it added, “regrets the incident”.
The video showed the Dalai Lama kissing the boy on his lips as he came forward to pay his respects. The spiritual leader could then be heard saying in the video “can you suck my tongue” and sticking out his tongue.
Some observers said that it was “akin to paedophilia”, while others commented that it was “creepy” and “disgusting”.
Another user questioned the Buddhist monk. “When millions look upon you and follow you, your behaviour and character should be implacable…