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Some Call For Dalai Lama's Arrest

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Earlier this week, the Dalai Lama was seen in a video kissing a boy on the lips as an audience cheered and applauded. He then asked the young boy to “suck my tongue” in an exchange that caused some to be deeply concerned about the disturbing encounter. The Dalai Lama quickly issued an apology to the boy, his family, and others who were upset by the incident. He also stated that he regretted the incident.

Thus far, it is unknown whether the Dalai Lama will face any legal consequences for his actions. However, this is not the first time a religious leader has been under public scrutiny for inappropriate actions with a child.

The Catholic church has seen decades, if not more, of evidence of cover-ups of thousands of clergy members abusing hundreds of thousands of children. Convictions in those abuse cases were few. Many cases could not be tried due to time limitations.  

The Southern Baptist Church has faced a similar scandal with reports of hundreds of church leaders publicly accused or convicted of sex crimes against children. Also documented were delays in reporting and cover-ups lasting decades.

The incident with the Dalai Lama occurred in India. The country has strict child abuse laws aimed at prevention, as some 90% of children in India will experience abuse before their 18th birthday. Because the boy that was kissed and propositioned is 12 years of age, the Dalai Lama could face ten years in prison. That sentence could extend to life in prison under Indian law.

Advocacy groups and abuse survivors have condemned the Dalai Lama's actions, while some have called for the arrest of the religious leader.

The incident with the Dalai Lama was recorded and witnessed by an audience. The Dalai Lama admitted to the actions himself. The physical evidence makes a cover-up difficult. These facts beg questions as to why the religious leader faces no immediate consequence.

With Buddhism being the fourth largest religion in the world, the issue may lead to public outcry if the Dalai Lama were to face legal consequences for his actions.

Edited by Niko Balkaran.

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