Dalai Lama apologizes for telling child to ‘suck his tongue’

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, apologized Monday to a little boy for asking him to “suck his tongue” a few weeks ago during a hearing of which a video emerged on the networks social in turmoil.

“His Holiness wishes to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as to his many friends around the world, for any pain his words may have caused,” read a statement posted on his official Twitter account. “His Holiness often teases the people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and in front of the cameras. He regrets this incident. »

In a video of the incident, which has gone viral, the 87-year-old Dalai Lama sticks his tongue out at the obviously taken aback child, just after asking, “Can you suck my tongue?” “, triggering the hilarity of the assembly.

“Disgusting”

The video was filmed on February 28, during an audience with the Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj, on the outskirts of Dharamsala, in northern India, where he has lived in exile since the failure of the 1951 Tibetan uprising against the Chinese power.

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Internet users called his attitude “disgusting” and “absolutely unhealthy”. “What did I just see? What must this child be feeling? Disgusting “, was indignant a user on Twitter. “I am totally shocked to see the Dalai Lama appear like this. In the past, too, he had to apologize for sexist comments. But saying ‘now suck my tongue’ to a little boy is disgusting,” another wrote.

In 2019, the Dalai Lama apologized for saying that if a woman were to succeed him, she would have to be “attractive”. These remarks, made in an interview with the BBC, had caused controversy.

A figure at half mast

The Dalai Lama universally embodies the movement for Tibetan autonomy, but the international aura from which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 has withered and the deluge of invitations addressed to him by leaders, personalities and stars all over the planet has shrunk a lot.

This decline in interest is partly explained by the age of the monk who had to limit his travels, but also by the growing economic and political influence of China.

Beijing accuses him of wanting to divide China and regularly calls him a “wolf in a monk’s robe”.

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