The Dalai Lama apologizes for asking boy to “suck my tongue” after video surfaced

The Dalai Lama has recently apologized for a video that surfaced of him kissing a young Indian boy on the lips, then asking him to “suck my tongue”.
The incident occurred in February when the child asked the Nobel Prize winner from the audience of Dharamsala, India – the town in which he is currently in exile – if he could hug him.
The 87-year-old invited the boy onto the stage and motioned to his cheek, prompting the boy to give him a kiss. Afterwards, he motioned to his lips, and the boy kissed him there, too. The Dalai Lama then pulled the unidentified boy’s chin and proceeded to kiss him on the mouth, adding “and suck my tongue”. The audience at the Dalai Lama’s temple in McLeod Ganj laughed and applauded, and many were also shocked by the awkward scene.

The Dalai Lama’s official Twitter account released a statement of apology to the boy and his family, additionally his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused.
The statement also said that His Holiness often teases people in an innocent and somewhat playful way, even in public and before cameras.
The child rights group Haq: Center for Child Rights released a statement condemning all forms of child abuse, saying that even if the incident is a cultural expression, such expressions are not acceptable.

This isn’t the first time the Dalai Lama has sparked controversy. In 2019, he said that a female Dalai Lama should be more attractive, and he later apologized for the comment. The year before, he suggested that Europe should be reserved for Europeans while discussing the rising level of African refugees entering the continent.