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Head of Tibet's exiled government defends Dalai Lama after he asked young boy to suck his tongue

Head of Tibet's exiled government defends Dalai Lama after he asked young boy to suck his tongue

Penpa Tsering, head of Tibet's government-in-exile, has defended the Dalai Lama after he was filmed asking a boy to suck his tongue.

The head of Tibet’s government-in-exile has defended the Dalai Lama and called his actions 'innocent' after a video surfaced of him asking a child to suck his tongue.

Penpa Tsering, 56, who serves as the political leader of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration said the spiritual leader had been ‘unfairly labelled with all kinds of names that really hurt the sentiment of all his followers’ after the video circulated online.

In the video, the Dalai Lama can be seen addressing a crowd of students at the Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala, northern India.

Politician Penpa Tsering has defended the Dalai Lama's actions.

He then calls up one pupil to the stage, who approaches the microphone and asks the Dalai Lama: "Can I hug you?"

The pair are then filmed embracing each other, with the Dalai Lama prompting the boy to kiss him on the cheek. The 87-year-old then points to his lips before holding the boy’s face and kissing him on the lips.

He then tells the boy to 'suck my tongue', sticking his tongue out as he touches heads with him. Later in the video, the Dalai Lama also tickles the child under his arms.

Attendees can be heard laughing as the incident unfolds.

Although the footage was filmed on 28 February, it went viral on social media early this month and has since attracted over a million views on Twitter.

At one point, the Dalai Lama told the boy to 'suck' his tongue.

Tsering told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday (13 April) that the 87-year-old’s demeanour had been misinterpreted.

He also claimed that the controversy surrounding he clip had hurt the sentiments of the Dalai Lama’s followers.

The Buddhist spiritual leader has always lived in ‘sanctity and celibacy’ and that his years of practice had taken him ‘beyond the sensorial pleasures,’ Tsering said.

However, the Dalai Lama’s office felt the need to apologise over the incident after social media users called his behaviour inappropriate.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the leader said that he never meant to cause any harm, and was just being 'playful'.

I mean, who doesn't love a playful game of suck my tongue?

The Dalai Lama was seen hugging and kissing the child.

"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," the statement read.

"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.

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

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy / VOA

Topics: News, World News