Tibetan demonstrators held rallies in Europe, america, India and Australia this week to protest unfavorable media protection of a video of the Dalai Lama asking an Indian boy to suck his tongue in what Tibetans say was a misinterpretation of an harmless, playful act.
A video of the Tibetan Buddhists’ religious chief hugging and kissing the younger boy on the lips at a scholar occasion in northern India on Feb. 28 went viral on social media and sparked on-line criticism and accusations of pedophilia.
The Dalai Lama, 87, later apologized to the boy’s household, and Tibetans rapidly got here to his protection, explaining that protruding one’s tongue is a greeting or an indication of respect of their tradition.
Greater than 2,000 Tibetans and their supporters rallied in Switzerland, demanding that native media apologize to the Dalai Lama for misinterpreting the video. Activists approached one information group that agreed to look into the matter.
“I’ve by no means seen Tibetans gathered in such an enormous quantity in a very long time, and it is rather vital that we set up these rallies towards those that defamed His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” mentioned Tenzin Wangdue, vice chairman of the Tibetan Affiliation of Liechtenstein,
Greater than 300 Tibetans and Indian supporters gathered in Bangalore, India, to demand apologies from information organizations. About 15,000 folks gathered on April 15 in Ladakh, a area administered by India as a part of the bigger Kashmir area and has been the topic of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China for many years.
“We the trustworthy followers of His Holiness The 145th Dalai Lama are deeply saddened and shocked by the deliberate try of many information/media portals, circulating a tailor-made propaganda video clip to defame and malign the impeccable character and stature of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama,” mentioned a press release issued on April 14 by the Ladakh Buddhist Affiliation’s Youth Wing in Kargil to point out its solidarity with the Tibetan Buddhist religious chief.
When the Dalai Lama meets with folks, “he speaks with them freely, with none reserve or cautiousness, as in the event that they have been long-time mates, and treats them lovingly,” mentioned Ogyen Thinley Dorje, the Karmapa, or religious chief and head of the Karma Kagyu custom of Tibetan Buddhism, one of many 4 main lineages of Tibet.
“Typically he does playfully tug somebody’s beard, or tickle them, or pat them gently on the cheek or nostril,” he mentioned in a press release issued on April 12. “That is simply how he usually is, and it exhibits not more than his real delight and love for others.
Tibetans residing in western China’s Tibet Autonomous Area and Tibetan-populated areas of Chinese language provinces in addition to those that reside overseas imagine the Chinese language have used the video to solid a darkish shadow on the Dalai Lama.
“Tibetans inside Tibet have seen and heard in regards to the video clips on numerous social media,” mentioned one Tibetan from contained in the area, who declined to be recognized for security causes.
“It’s so nice to have the ability to see footage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, however on the similar time it’s heartbreaking to see how the Chinese language authorities is profiting from this and manipulating the playful video interplay between the Dalai Lama and the younger Indian boy,” the supply mentioned.
Many Tibetans inside Tibet haven’t publicly commented on the video, realizing that it might be harmful to take action due to China’s heavy surveillance and repression within the area, mentioned one other Tibetan who declined to be named for a similar purpose.
“The Chinese language authorities would monitor down the people and punish them and they’d be sentenced to 3 to 4 years [in prison],” the supply mentioned.
Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA Tibetan. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Malcolm Foster.