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The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile has defended the Dalai Lama over a viral video in which the spiritual leader kisses a child on the lips and then asks him to “suck my tongue.”

The Dalai Lama’s actions were “innocent” and had been misinterpreted, Penpa Tsering told reporters at an event in the Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday, adding that the controversy over the video had “hurt” the leader’s followers. 

The disturbing incident occurred as 120 young students were graduating from the Indian M3M Foundation. During which one of the students spoke into a microphone to ask the Dalai Lama for a hug. 

Tenzin Gyatso, the 87-year-old spiritual leader, then told the boy to come up to the platform and motioned to his cheek, where the child then kissed him.

“His holiness has always lived in sanctity, (following the life of) a Buddhist monk, including celibacy. His years of spiritual practice have gone beyond sensorial pleasures,” Tsering said. “His holiness is now being labeled all kinds of names.” 

Dalia Lama apologizes as supporters speculate conspiracies

In a statement Monday, the Dalai Lama – a Nobel peace laureate – apologized after a video of his exchange with the boy prompted a wave of international criticism, including accusations of child abuse.

“His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras,” read Monday’s statement. “He regrets the incident.”

YouTube video

Tsering claimed that internal investigations suggested “pro-Chinese sources” were behind the spread of the video on social media, but gave no evidence for the claim.

“The political angle of this incident cannot be ignored,” he said. 

The Dalai Lama, 87-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, is the world’s best-known living Buddhist figure

According to CNN, the principal spiritual leader of the “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is revered by millions as the reincarnation of his 13 predecessors.

Some of the Dalai Lama’s supporters claim his actions in the video, which was filmed in the northern Indian hillside city of Dharamshala in February, have been misinterpreted under a Western lens.

“Expression of emotions and manners today has been melted together and become vividly westernized,” Namdol Lhagyari, a Tibetan activist in exile, wrote on Twitter Monday. “Bringing in narrative of other cultures, customs and social influence on gender and sexuality to interpret Tibetan way of expression is heinous.”

Cardi B called out the Dalia Lama

“This world is full of predators,” she first wrote on Twitter Monday. “They prey on the innocent. The ones who are most unknowing, our children.”

“When it comes to f—ing weird ass predators, and rapists, and pedophiles and s—…I don’t play that s—,” she began in an Instagram Story video.

“Robbing and raping is two different type of s—,” she maintained. “So don’t f—ing call me no rapist, don’t call me no f—ing predator.”

Responding to those who claimed she is the wrong messenger, the bars behind Bodak Yellow added, “I’m the right messenger ‘cause I’m a f—ing mom. I’m a f—ing woman. I’m a girl that as a teenager my body got f—ing abused. I don’t talk about that s— because it’s like, that’s another story for another time.”

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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