A foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat”, Dalai Lama, has apologised after he faced allegations of inappropriate behaviour after a video emerged showing him kissing a young boy on the lips and asking him to “suck his tongue” at a public event in Northern India.

The interaction, which took place in late February, 2023, at the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala, was attended by about 100 young students who had just graduated from the Indian M3M Foundation.

In a statement on Monday, 10th April, 2023, the office for the Dalai Lama said he “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,” adding he “regrets” the incident.

In the video, the young boy can be seen approaching the Nobel Peace Prize winner before asking, “Can I hug you?”
The 87-year-old spiritual leader then invites the boy on stage and points to his cheek and says, “first here,” prompting the boy to give him a hug and a kiss.
The Dalai Lama then points to his lips, and says: “then I think finally here also.” He then pulls the boy’s chin and kisses him on the mouth.

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The identity of the boy is not known. He was at an event with the M3M Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Indian real estate company M3M Group, based in Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama lives in permanent exile.

The Dalai Lama has faced previous controversies as 2019, he caused an outcry after suggesting that if the Dalai Lama returned as a woman “she should be more attractive”, for which his office apologised.

Story: Christy Dung