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Dalai Lama In Damage Control


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Dalai Lama apologises after video circulates online of Tibetan spiritual leader kissing a young boy and asking him to 'suck my tongue'

By South Asia Correspondent Avani Dias 
Posted 24m ago24 minutes ago
Dalai Lama video
The Dalai Lama has issued an apology after a video of him at a public event went viral. (Twitter)

The Dalai Lama has apologised to a young boy and his family after a video of the Tibetan spiritual leader kissing the child and asking him to "suck my tongue" went viral. :surprised:

Key points:

  • A statement released on the Dalai Lama's website says he "wishes to apologise to the boy and his family"
  • His Holiness "often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way", the statement says
  • The ABC has verified the video and understands it was from a public event in late February

"His Holiness wishes to apologise to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused," the apology tweeted on the Dalai Lama's account says.

"His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras.

"He regrets the incident."

The ABC has verified the video and understands it was from a public event where a number of journalists were present in late February.

The Dalai Lama's statement said the young boy asked for a hug, although vision of the incident does not appear to show that occurring.The video only went viral over the weekend, causing outrage online with many people expressing "shock" over the "inappropriate" behaviour.

Others expressed concern that dignitaries in the background of the video were laughing and clapping, and did not try to stop the incident.

In Tibet, sticking out your tongue has been a traditional greeting since the 9th century and is seen as a form of respect.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet and has been living in exile in northern India's Dharamshala since 1959 after a failed uprising against China.

His Holiness is due to turn 88-years old in July, but has not appointed a successor as China tries to gain political power over the process.

In 2019, the Dalai Lama suggested a woman could be the next reincarnation, but apologised for saying she would have to be "attractive".

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  • bust changed the title to Dalai Lama In Damage Control

When I saw this I thought, Old man  =  losing it

"In Tibet, sticking out your tongue has been a traditional greeting since the 9th century and is seen as a form of respect."  really? note - ask Maori about this...

I see that despite the Maori and Tibetan peoples, not having the opportunity to meet until ~300 years ago, this is a widespread demonstration of respect:




or not




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But wait! there's more!

Dalai Lama furore reignites Tibet 'slave' controversy

An online backlash to the Dalai Lama has rejuvenated a long-running controversy over Tibetan history and boosted a Chinese government narrative.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader has faced widespread criticism after a video surfaced showing him kissing a young boy and asking him to suck his tongue. The Dalai Lama has since expressed regret.

The incident has sparked significant online vitriol against the spiritual leader. 

While much of it centres on the video, accusing him of inappropriate behaviour and child abuse, a significant portion of the criticism accuses him of complicity in "slavery", using highly disputed definitions seen in Chinese propaganda.

There are also concerns that overall, the online backlash is fuelling anti-Tibet sentiment. 

Activists say that while many of the talking points have long existed online - propagated by pro-China accounts - they are now attracting a wider audience as the video controversy renews global attention on Tibet.

In Twitter threads and TikTok videos that have attracted millions of views and retweets, social media users are discussing the living conditions and lack of rights held by ordinary Tibetans before the country was annexed by China in the 1950s.

Many describe this as "slavery". They also frame the Chinese annexation as an act of liberation for Tibetans.

They argue that as the Tibetans' spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was complicit, and some posts label him a "demon" and "slaveowner".

But these characterisations of Tibetan society and China's annexation have long been controversial - and mirror the Chinese government's rhetoric.

Beijing promotes a narrative where it freed "serfs and slaves" from a brutal theocracy, set Tibet on a path of modernisation, and vastly improved Tibetans' lives.

It has also accused the Dalai Lama of spearheading a failed uprising in 1959 in order to "preserve the theocratic serf system". The Dalai Lama has said the incident began with Tibetans gathering to protect him from a possible Chinese attack. 

The incident ended with the Chinese taking over Tibet's government and dissolving what they say was a feudal system. In 2009, China created the annual "Tibetan Serf Emancipation Day" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the quelling of the uprising.

In recent weeks Chinese state media outlet Global Times re-amplified this narrative by putting out an infographic comparing life before and after Tibet's "peaceful liberation", in a tweet criticising the Dalai Lama. It was subsequently retweeted by at least one Chinese embassy.

Though Tibet's government-in-exile has disputed the term "feudal", most scholars agree that Tibet's society saw people working on estates owned by nobles, monasteries or the state, and paid taxes to them. 

There has been debate on how to describe these people. The Tibetan word for them, "miser", has been translated as both "serfs" and "subjects".

But most experts do not see them as "slaves" which could be bought and sold. 

"Tibet has never had a term for 'slave'. These people were not commodities… it was like a 'peasant and lord' relationship," said Tsering Shakya, a Tibet historian with the University of British Columbia. 

Historically the Dalai Lama did not directly own "serfs", but as he was seen as the sovereign of Tibetan society, "everyone in Tibet was considered his subject, much like people in the UK are subjects to the King", said Dr Shakya.

Critics of China's narrative, such as Tibet's government-in-exile, say Beijing uses it to justify the annexation and its oppression of Tibetans over the years. 

While Tibetans' standard of living has greatly improved, Tibet remains tightly controlled by Chinese authorities who are accused of committing violence and human rights violations.

Thousands of Tibetans are believed to have been killed during various periods of martial law over the years.

"You don't emancipate anyone with [an] army and guns. You don't liberate anyone with forced agreement," a representative of the Tibetan government-in-exile said in 2020.

Some have also argued that Tibet was already on the path of reform and did not need China's intervention. 

"There were people advocating modernisation before annexation, there were seeds of change," said Dr Shakya.

Earlier this week Tibet's government-in-exile accused China of waging a campaign to "vilify" them and the Dalai Lama.

Its head, Penpa Tsering, also claimed without evidence that "pro-Chinese sources" were making the Dalai Lama's video go viral on social media and said "the political angle of this incident cannot be ignored".

A BBC Monitoring check did not find signs of inauthentic online activity, indicating that the criticism comes from genuine sources.

It also found the criticism came from diverse sources. While pro-China influencers as well as Chinese diplomats and state media were responsible for some of it, right-wing commentators and social media users concerned about child abuse and slavery have also joined in.

Activists say the backlash has fuelled online abuse of Tibetans, pro-Tibet groups, and the Tibetan leadership in exile. It has also obscured numerous human rights issues that activists are trying to raise, including the forced assimilation of Tibetan children.

"There is a frustration that Tibet largely goes unreported but now is in the spotlight for this reason, and fear that this story will become the centrepiece of the conversation about Tibet at a critical time for the future of their country and its culture," John Jones, spokesperson for the Free Tibet organisation, told the BBC. 

"In that sense, this story has been a gift to anyone wishing to downplay the concerns Tibetans have been trying to raise."


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Ancillary note - I saw - not met - The big D.L. in Auckland in 2002 at a small, ~50 people, temple event.

'nuther note -  Had lunch with a bloke in Laos, who was previously 'secretary' to the D.L.'s number two. He was in Laos, because he was/is researching language. In particular the language that Buddha spoke. He believes that there were/are, some remote hill tribes in the mountains, between Laos and Vietnam etc, that have some older people, that still speak this language or a related form of it.

The difficulty, this bloke said, was convincing some little old ladies, who'd never strayed more than 4 or 5 Km from their village and had never seen a Caucasian, let alone one 6 foot tall and twice the size of the locals, that not only, would anyone want to know about the language, but even if they did, that there wasn't a trick somewhere in this.


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I had never though about the issue of the form of government the Dali Lama represents, 


And there is I suspect some truth in there that it was autocratic theocracy, 


Replacing with another autocratic may not be a viable argument, 


But maybe time for people to discuss what would the alternative to Chinese rule be?


I doubt many people support tongue sucking theocracy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reminds me of the joke about a young priest taking his first confession and a woman confesses to giving her boyfriend a blowjob. This was a first and he did not know penance to give her so he snook out of the confessional saw an altar boy and asked him

”What does old Father O’Brien give for Oral Sex?”

The Altar boy replies “Well he usually buys us a Pizza”

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