The Dalai Lama has issued an apology after a video surfaced online of him kissing a young boy on the lips.
On his official website, a statement was released that said the 87-year-old leader regretted the incident and wished 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.”
In February, the young boy asked for permission to embrace him during a public ceremony at the Tsuglakhang, the leader’s temple in Dharamsala.
The child was encouraged to come up to the platform the Dalai Lama was sitting on. In the video, he gestured to his cheek and the boy then kissed and hugged him.
Moments later, the Dalai Lama asked the boy for another kiss on the lips with his tongue sticking out.
In the video, you can hear him say, “And suck my tongue.” The audience then erupts with laughter after the boy is seen leaning in for another kiss with his tongue out.
Many online critics condemned his behavior as inappropriate and disturbing in response to the video.
According to the statement online, “His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras.”