Dalai Lama knew of sex abuse by Bud­dhist teach­ers since ‘90s

The Star Malaysia - - World -

The Hague: The Dalai Lama says he has known about sex­ual abuse by Bud­dhist teach­ers since the 1990s and that such al­le­ga­tions are “noth­ing new”.

The Ti­betan spir­i­tual leader, who is revered by mil­lions of Bud­dhists around the world, made the ad­mis­sion on Satur­day dur­ing a four-day visit to the Nether­lands, where he met with vic­tims of sex­ual abuse al­legedly com­mit­ted by Bud­dhist teach­ers.

He was re­spond­ing to a call from a dozen of the vic­tims, who had launched a pe­ti­tion ask­ing to meet him dur­ing his trip, which is part of a tour of Europe.

“We found refuge in Bud­dhism with an open mind and heart, un­til we were raped in its name,” the vic­tims said in their pe­ti­tion.

“I al­ready did know th­ese things, noth­ing new,” the Dalai Lama said in re­sponse on Dutch pub­lic tele­vi­sion NOS on Satur­day.

“Twenty-five years ago... some­one men­tioned a prob­lem re­lated to sex­ual al­le­ga­tions,” he said later at a con­fer­ence for western Bud­dhist teach­ers in Dharamshala, a hill town in north­ern In­dia.

The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in ex­ile in Dharamshala.

Peo­ple who com­mit sex­ual abuse “don’t care about the Bud­dha’s teach­ing. So now that ev­ery­thing has been made pub­lic, peo­ple may be con­cerned about their shame,” he said, speak­ing in English.

Tseten Samdup Ch­hoekyapa, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Ti­betan spir­i­tual leader in Europe, said on Fri­day that the Dalai Lama “has con­sis­tently de­nounced such ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­eth­i­cal be­hav­iour”.

Ti­betan spir­i­tual lead­ers are due to meet in Dharamshala in Novem­ber.

“At that time, they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his tele­vised com­ments on Satur­day.

“I think that the re­li­gious lead­ers should pay more at­ten­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.