The head of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile defended the Dalai Lama after a video was released in which the spiritual figure kissed a child and asked him to "suck my tongue."
Penpa Tsering, a reporter at an event held in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, said that the Dalai Lama had misinterpreted his actions. He added that the controversy surrounding the video has 'hurt" the followers of the leader.
His holiness lived in celibacy and sanctity (following) the monk's life. Tsering stated that his years of spiritual discipline have transcended sensual pleasures. His holiness has been given many names.
The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, apologized in a statement released Monday after a viral video of him interacting with the boy was posted on social media. This led to a wave international criticism and accusations of child abuse.
Tsering said that internal investigations indicated 'pro Chinese sources' were responsible for the social media spread of the video, but provided no evidence to support the claim.
He said that 'the political aspect of this incident can't be ignored'.
Tenzin Gyatso is the most famous living Buddhist figure in the world. He is 87 years old.
Millions of people revere the Dalai Lama as the spiritual leader of the Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also regarded by many as the reincarnation his 13 predecessors.
Since 1959, he has lived in India following a failed Tibetan uprising. Later, he established a government in exile in Dharamshala and led thousands of Tibetans to follow him.
Some supporters of the Dalai Lama claim that his actions, captured in Dharamshala, a hillside city in northern India, in February, were misinterpreted by Westerners.
Namdol Lhagyari is a Tibetan exile activist who wrote Monday that 'expression of emotions and manners has become vividly Westernized'. It is wrong to use narratives of other cultures and customs, as well as social influences on gender and sexuality in order to interpret Tibetan expression.
The incident in February is not the first time that the 80-year-old has caused controversy over the past few years.
He apologized for a BBC interview in 2019 where he stated that if a woman Dalai Lama were to succeed him, then she "should be more beautiful."
In response to the increasing number of African refugees arriving on the continent, he said that Europe should remain for Europeans.