Tibetan Spiritual Leader and 14th Dalaï Lama, Tenzin Gyatso has issued an apology for kissing a young boy on the mouth in a video that has been making the rounds online.
The video has drawn criticism from various social media users, with people tagging the act as child abuse.
At an event on February 28, the young boy had come to pay his respects to the spiritual leader and asked for a hug, which he obliged.
The 87-year-old Dalaï Lama then asked the boy to kiss him on the mouth, and then stuck out his tongue asking the boy, “Can you suck my tongue?”.
Responding to the comments and criticisms, a statement was posted to the Nobel Prize winner’s website and social media accounts stating that he often teases people in an “innocent and playful way”.
The statement read, “A video clip has been circulating that shows a recent meeting when a young boy asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug.
“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.
“His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”