The Dalai Lama has apologised for his controversial comments that suggested that if his successor was female she should be “attractive.”
“If female Dalai Lama comes, then she should be more attractive. (Otherwise) people I think prefer not (to) see her, that face,” he told in an interview to BBC.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader was replying to BBC News journalist Rajini Vaidyanathan, when he was asked about the possibility of a woman successor to him.
“Real beauty is inner beauty; that’s true. But (as) we’re human being(s), I think the appearance (is) also important”, he had said.
His comments invited a lot of flak on social media after which he apologised.
A statement “Clarification and Context of Remarks Made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a Recent BBC Interview” was released by his office on Tuesday, reportedly suggesting he had been joking.
On the remarks, on what he “genuinely meant no offence”, the statement reads, “He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies”.
According to the statement, he has “a keen sense of the contradictions between the materialistic, globalized world he encounters on his travels and the complex, more esoteric ideas about reincarnation that are at the heart of Tibetan Buddhist tradition. However, it sometimes happens that off the cuff remarks, which might be amusing in one cultural context, lose their humor in translation when brought into another.”
The statement also said that the comments in which he said refugees in the European Union should ultimately return home “may have been misinterpreted.”
“He certainly appreciates that many of those who leave their countries may not wish or be able to return, and that Tibetans, who cherish the idea of returning home, would find their country irrevocably altered. However, His Holiness also understands the uncertainties and difficulties of those in countries where refugees and migrants make their new homes” the statement reads.
In the interview, he also spoke about Donald Trump as someone with “a lack of moral principle.” For this statement, there was no apology from The Dalai Lama.
The current Dalai Lama is in India since 1959 after he announced his self-imposed exile when China’s People’s Liberation Army arrived in the region.
He is also the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.