Did the Dalai Lama ask a boy to suck my tongue?


A video that went viral in April 2023 authentically showed the Dalai Lama asking a boy to “suck my tongue”.


research in progress

In April 2023, a video of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, went viral in which he reportedly told a boy to “suck my tongue”. The Video also appeared to show the exiled leader urging the boy to kiss his lips and the child following directions. We have not yet independently confirmed the authenticity of the viral clip.

In the viral video, which includes audio, the boy first approaches the Dalai Lama and asks if he can hug the Tibetan leader. The Dalai Lama points to his cheek, says “here first,” and the boy kisses him there, followed by a hug. Then the leader points to his lips and says, “I think here too,” and the boy kisses the Dalai Lama on the lips. The leader then touches his forehead to the boy’s before sticking his tongue out at him and reportedly saying, “Lick my tongue.” Viewers laugh as the boy sticks his tongue out as well and walks away. The clip also shows the retreat of the Dalai Lama.

Many social media users called the video inappropriate and disturbing, and some who shared called it a Example pedophilia run rampant.

In response to people’s reaction to the viral clip, the Dalai Lama’s official social media account wrote an apology on April 10 with the following words:

A video clip is circulating showing a recent meeting where a young boy asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug. His Holiness would like to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends around the world, for the pain his words may have caused.

His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful manner, even in public and in front of cameras. He regrets the incident.

In summary, the Dalai Lama’s report confirmed that a young boy asked “if he could hug him” and “apologized for the pain his words may have caused” during that interaction, although he did not say what those words meant were.

Based on the contextual clues (i.e. the background of the scene, the boy’s shirt, etc.) and the news archives, we were able to identify where the moment allegedly took place: a gathering at the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala, India on February 28, 2023 . Related to verifiable photographs And videos From that event onwards, it was true that a young boy in a yellow shirt and the Dalai Lama hugged and kissed, the viral video claimed.

At the event of the Dalai Lama spoken to around 120 students who had completed a qualification program organized by the M3M Foundation. After that, this organization uploaded photos online showing the boy interacting with the leader. Also the Tibetan-language news program Voice of America (VOA). covered the event.

The available VOA footage did not show the interaction between the Dalai Lama and the boy in the yellow shirt, so it was unknown where — or how — accounts that shared the video allegedly showed the Dalai Lama saying, “Suck my tongue.” ‘ showed that they had received this clip. We reached out to the news agency to request a copy of the unedited footage from the event.

We have not independently verified the claim that during this interaction the Tibetan leader asked the child to “suck my tongue” using those very words. It is possible that the audio in which the Tibetan leader allegedly made this statement — that is, the audio associated with the clip capturing social media — was digitally manipulated.

Several news outlets reported on the viral video, including news weekincluding a shortcut about the clip being hosted by a third party, not VOA. This third-party account will no longer display the video.

When we contacted VOA regarding access to all footage of the event and the aforementioned deleted video linked in the Newsweek article, they informed us: “The video clip is from a public event that was recorded by multiple media outlets, including our stringer. Unfortunately, the video was posted without following VOA best practice guidelines and has been removed. VOA Tibetan examined.”

We will update this fact check if or if we receive raw footage of the event to confirm or deny whether the Dalai Lama actually said those words.

The BBC published the headline “Dalai Lama regrets asking boy to suck my tongue,” although that article did not link to or display either the viral video or the original source of that video.

According to the BBCSticking out the tongue is a form of greeting in Tibet. “It’s a tradition since the 9th century, the time of an unpopular king named Lang Darma, who was known for his black tongue,” the BBC said. “People in Tibet thought the king had been reincarnated, so they would stick out their tongues to prove they weren’t the king.”

However, this was announced by the Delhi-based HAQ: Center for Child Rights CNN“Some messages refer to Tibetan culture about showing the tongue, but this video is certainly not about cultural expression, and even if it is, such cultural expression is unacceptable.”

While the Dalai Lama’s team acknowledged the “injury” caused by his words and apologized for the interaction at the center of the viral video and a credible news agency (VOA) showed that the Tibetan leader was interacting with the boy, we have not been able to independently verify where the viral clip allegedly showing the Dalai Lama telling the boy to “suck my tongue” came from.

As we cannot solely rely on third-party video reposts to confirm the accuracy of the footage, and that the Dalai Lama’s apology did not specify the exact words he used, we await further information before confirming this claim give a truth rating.

Brian Ashcraft

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