Dalai Lama apologizes for misconstrued remark about possible woman successor

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul03’19) – The Dalai Lama has on Jul 2 said he was deeply sorry that people had been hurt by what he had said light-heartedly about his successor, if to be a woman, being required to be attractive, and offered sincere apologies.

“He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies,” said a statement from his office, referring to a BBC interview he gave last month.

During the interview the Dalai Lama had said in English, while laughing, “If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive”. This has been controverted in numerous news reports.

The statement apologised for any offence caused and put it down to a culturally misconstrued joke. “Off the cuff remarks, which might be amusing in one cultural context, lose their humour in translation when brought into another. He regrets any offence that may have been given.”

The statement added that throughout his life, the Dalai Lama had opposed the objectification of women and supported gender equality.

The statement also said his comment that refugees in the European Union should ultimately return home to take part in reconstruction efforts “may have been misinterpreted”.

“He certainly appreciates that many of those who leave their countries may not wish or be able to return,” it added.

During the interview, the Tibetan spiritual leader, who turns 84 on Jul 6, touched on topics that included US President Donald Trump, his abiding dream of returning to Tibet, and refugees. He perceived Trump as a person who had a “lack of moral principle”.


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