Dalai Lama, the Tibetian spiritual leader admired by millions of Buddhists said on Saturday that he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
Dalai Lama made the admission during his four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he was responding to a petition by the victims asking him to meet them during his trip to Europe.
He met these victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by the Buddhist teachers on Friday during the four-day stay in the Netherlands.
Responding to what the victims mentioned in their petition that, “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” Dalai Lama said, “I already did know these things, nothing new, Twenty-five years ago someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh he added.
People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he furthered.
Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetian spiritual leader in Europe said on Friday that Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour”.
Tibetian spiritual leaders are supposed to meet in Dharamshala in November this year, the place where Dalai Lama lives in exile.
While responding on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday, he said, “At that time they should talk about it,” referring to the meeting at Dharamshala due in November. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention,” he added.
Last month the Dalai Lama was caught in a controversy with his suggestion that the 1947 Partition could’ve been avoided had Pt Jawaharlal Nehru accepted Mahatma Gandhi’s offer to Make Mohammad Ali Jinnah as Prime Minister, which he later retracted and apologised for.