The Dalai Lama is in hot water online for what people are calling acts of pedophilia.
On Monday, the spiritual leader, 87, apologized after a viral video showed him kissing a minor boy, then suggesting the child suck on his tongue.
Tenzin Gyatso–the Dalai Lama’s name–shared the statement on his social media channels.
“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.”
In the last paragraph of the statement, His Holiness seemingly suggested the ‘tongue-sucking’ comment was meant as a joke.
“His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”
However, there was no explanation for why the hug escalated into a kiss.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) April 10, 2023
Here’s What The Dalai Lama Did And How Social Media Reacted
According to CNN, the incident with the minor child occurred in February at an event in Dharamshala, India. M3M Group, an Indian real estate company, was hosting a philanthropic event featuring the Lama.
The video shows the boy approaching the spiritual leader, asking, “Can I hug you?”
In response, the Dalai Lama invited the boy on stage and pointed to his cheek, saying, “First here.” It was a suggestion for a cheek kiss, which the child obliged with.
After the hug and kiss, the leader pointed to his lips and said, “Then I think finally here also.” Before the child could react, the Dalai Lama reportedly pulled the child’s chin toward him, kissing the minor on the lips.
The boy recoiled his head as laughter and claps filled the room. Moments later, the leader tried to pull the child’s forehead onto his own, but the child appeared to pull away slightly before giving in.
After a few moments, the boy stood apart again while the Lama stared at him. Then, the 87-year-old motioned at his tongue, poked it out, and said, “suck my tongue.”
The clip shows the unidentified child seemingly laughing, then leaning in before the clip cuts out. It’s unclear if the Dalai Lama’s tongue entered the child’s mouth at any point.
You didn’t just hug the boy though, you asked him to ‘suck your tongue.’
Why leave that bit out? 🤔pic.twitter.com/Nz2aSYxAZD
— Samirah (@SameeraKhan) April 10, 2023
The tweeted statement has received over 9.9 million views and over 10,000 comments. Reactions range from disgust to calls for the Dalai Lama to step down as spiritual leader and very few justifications for his actions, including references to Tibetan culture.
Asking forgiveness really ? Like frfr? Disgusting and delete the word Holiness you’re abastard, cringe and pedophile! Don’t normalize this behavior!!!!! # canceldalailama
— Yulduz Adizova (@adizova_y) April 10, 2023
….So the Dalai Lama is a pedophile
— 🦋 (@_SkyAndTheCity) April 10, 2023
To the people on here defending the Dalai Lama's actions – you clearly don't know a predator when you see one.
Your unwavering ignorance is part of the problem. pic.twitter.com/WDbcFNUQ1K
— Scotty 🎸🎶 (@ScottyGoesAgain) April 10, 2023
The Dalai Lama should be charged with Sexual Assault of a minor. Just because he is a religious leader he should not be immune from prosecution.
No one should be allowed to get away with assaulting a child!
He is a sick Child Predator! pic.twitter.com/r7ohMA8JSi
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 10, 2023
The Dalai Lama apologised for the incident. However, is an apology enough? The video is on the internet and the internet is forever. It will cause him trauma growing up. For any other person this would amount to jail time. This is molestation and needs to be taken seriously https://t.co/X3mdLycjSL
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) April 10, 2023