Dalai Lama issued an apology on Monday after a video of him kissing a child on the lips and asking him to suck his tongue at a Buddhist event went viral on social, igniting widespread criticism and debate online.
“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.
“The Dalai Lama often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way,” the spiritual leader’s office said in a statement.
The video caught the moment the spiritual leader kissed the boy on his lips and could be heard saying the video “Can you suck my tongue”.
The video angered social media users and caused debate, with some observers saying that it was “akin to paedophilia”, while others commented that it was “disgusting” and a holy man should not behave like that.