The facts speak for themselves over Dalai Lama’s disgusting acts
Published: Apr 17, 2023 12:55 AM
After decades of channeling funds to the Dalai Lama, a moment of a buyer's remorse for the US? Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

After decades of channeling funds to the Dalai Lama, a moment of a buyer's remorse for the US? Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

What on earth was the Dalai Lama thinking? A Video emerged on Twitter a few days ago of him kissing a boy and then asking the boy, who is clearly under the age of sexual consent in any person's language or culture, to suck his tongue.

While many apologists for Tibetan separatism are defending his action as either playful fun, or as being culturally misunderstood, many people are accusing him of paedophilia and the like. He issued an apology on Twitter and his own website, describing the event as playful teasing and innocent. The apology received (at the time of writing) 35.6 million views. Scroll through the comments below and it's clear the Dalai Lama has lost his support, if not in the world then certainly online. The ratio of disgust to support is greater than 10 to 1.

The BBC defended Dalai Lama's action by claiming sticking the tongue out is a way of greeting in Xizang Autonomous Region (Tibet) and several other sites have supported this narrative, writing off the incident as a cultural misunderstanding because there's a ninth century Tibetan tradition of showing the tongue and it is often used as a greeting in group sessions.

However, there is not and never has been in any culture anywhere, an acceptable time to publicly invite someone to suck their tongue. We should bear in mind that the same BBC defended him in 2015 when he jokingly said that if his successor was female she must be attractive otherwise it is not much use. 

If this tradition of the tongue were the norm in Xizang, this man who is on the TV screens of almost every country in the world greeting religious, political or celebrity guests would have done this often and probably not raised an eyebrow but he has never done this before either to a child or an adult. 

In the minds of some, probably many, this is a man who can do no wrong. An adult male kissing the lips of a pre-teen boy (who is not a family member) is not a matter of sensitivity, it is a matter that should be considered by the law in any country in which it occurs to establish if a crime has taken place.  

The matter is compounded by two other aspects: the request of that same adult, revered as one of the world's Holy Men, for the boy to suck his tongue; and the apparent vicelike grip that the Dalai Lama held with his left hand on the boy's right arm, which appeared to be alarmingly close to the venerable crutch. These two aspects clearly caused discomfort for the boy and preventing him from retreating from the situation; they would, if they had been carried out by a normal citizen in most countries, face police investigation.

What interests some observers, is how this has been allowed to become mainstream now, it's more than a month old. More likely, it is becoming clear to anyone in Washington, where most of the support for a Free Tibet Movement is funded, that the Dalai Lama has served his useful purpose. There was never going to be an independent Xizang, this was just a ruse to disrupt China's relations with the rest of the world, even the CIA admits this. The entire story was detailed including with references and citation by Foreign Policy Journal in 2010 in an article entitled The Tragedy of Tibet: A saga of Betrayal, Colonization and Exploitation.

And, if anyone went to Xizang to ask Tibetans, they would be told, there is no need, because they're as free as they've ever been.

The truth of the matter is, Xizang has improved economically, and while there are still poor people, there is nobody living in absolute poverty anymore, there are no major issues with the environment and there are no credible reports of human rights issues. Tibetans enjoy a robust and open form of governance which China calls Whole-process People's Democracy. If that's hard to believe, ask, or at least watch people who've been.

Overall, it's fairly clear Xizang, and the Dalai Lama were a cause celebre, Xizang was never meant to be an independent or free country. But now, it's likely that, given Dalai Lama's age, the lack of success in driving a wedge between Tibetan and Han people inside of Xizang and the fact that he's publicly brought disgrace upon himself, it might just be that it's the CIA that has decided to shame him.

The author is a British Australian freelance writer who has studied cross cultural change management in China and has lived in the country, traveling extensively for almost two decades. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn