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Dalai Lama criticized for instructing a boy to suck his tongue


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The Dalai Lama came under fire after a video surfaced online Monday showing him kissing a baby on the lips and telling him to “suck my tongue”.

A statement posted on its official website said it regretted the incident and wished to “apologize to the boy and his many family and friends around the world for the hurt his words may have caused”.

US-based director/producer Robbie Starbuck said, “The Dalai Lama asked a little boy to suck his tongue and no major news outlet asked what was going on here. This is pedophilia, abusive, and downright sick.”

“You not only hugged the boy, but told him to ‘suck your tongue.’ Why did he leave that part?” Sameera Khan, a Twitter user, responded to the Dalai Lama’s statement.

Twitter users slammed the video, calling it “disgusting” and “extremely sick” after it started trending on Sunday.

“Totally shocked to see this offer from #DalaiLama. Also in the past, he should have apologized for his sexual comments. But to say – now sucking my tongue on a little boy is disgusting,” user Sangeeta wrote.

Another poster, Rakhi Tripathi, said: “What did you just see? What must this kid feel like? Nasty.”

The incident occurred at a public gathering in February at the Tsoglakhang Temple in Dharamsala, where the exiled chief lives. He was getting questions from the audience when the boy asked if he could give him a hug.

The Dalai Lama invited the boy to the platform on which he was sitting. In the video, he points to his cheek, after which the child kisses him before giving him a hug.

Then the Dalai Lama asked the boy to kiss him on the lips and stick out his tongue. The Dalai Lama can be heard saying “and suck my tongue” as the boy sticks out his tongue and leans in, prompting laughter from the audience.

The footage sparked a backlash online, with social media users denouncing his behavior as inappropriate and disturbing.

The Dalai Lama’s statement read: “His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful manner, even in public and in front of cameras.”

The Dalai Lama has made the hillside town of Dharamsala his home since fleeing Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. India considers Tibet part of China, though it hosts Tibetan exiles.

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