Twitter couldn’t hold back feelings of outrage and disgust after a video clip quickly spread online of the Dalai Lama kissing a young boy on the lips and asking him to “suck my tongue.” The spiritual leader issued an apology Monday for the disgusting incident that occurred in February at the Tsuglagkhang Temple complex, where he lives.
More than 120 students were present to complete a skills training course hosted by the M3M Foundation. The charity posted photos and videos from the event. The clip, which has been making its rounds on Twitter, was viewed over five million times. Of course, folks on social media rightfully expressed their repulsion.
Without mentioning the Dalai Lama by name, Cardi B stated: “This world is full of predators. They prey on the innocent. The ones who are most unknowing, our children. Predators could be our neighbors, our school teachers, even people wit money, power & our churches. Constantly talk with your kids about boundaries and what they shouldn’t allow people to do to them.”
Another user was more direct by saying: “The Dalai Lama is a pedophile. The child was assaulted. No sane person is okay with what he did to that child and the worst part is this happens to so many kids cuz y’all normalize predatory behavior in close family members.” Another person remarked: “Folks that defend the Dalai Lama after he kissed a boy on the mouth and asked the boy to suck his tongue are pedophile sympathizers.”
The 87-year-old Buddhist priest expressed regret about the viral footage through a statement from his office:
“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. His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”
Delhi-based child rights group, Haq: Center for Child Rights, told CNN in a statement it denounces “all form of child abuse.” The organization also added: “Some news refers to Tibetan culture about showing tongue, but this video is certainly not about any cultural expression and even if it is, such cultural expressions are not acceptable.”