Dalai Lama Apologises For 'Attractive Woman Successor' Remark, Clarifies His Stand on Refugees
The Dalai Lama (Photo Credit: IANS)

New Delhi, July 2: Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Tuesday, apologised for his remark that a female successor is possible, but she should be "attractive". In a Facebook post, the Dalai Lama also clarified his stand on refugees. Dalai Lama was accused of objectifying women. He was also facing flak for saying that Europe could become "African or Muslim" if refugees don't return to their homelands.

"His Holiness genuinely meant no offence. He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies," read a clarification from Dalai Lama on his "attractive successor" statement. The Tibetan leader made the controversial remark in 2015 and said he stood by it in a recent interview with BBC South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan.

"Should be very attractive, otherwise not much use," the Dalai Lama was then quoted as saying in response to a question about the possibility of a female successor. When Vaidyanathan questioned him about his remark, the Dalai Lama said he stands by his statement, adding that "inner beauty" is the real beauty but added that outward appearance also holds an equivalent prominence for human beings.

Full text of clarification issued by the Dalai Lama:

On being asked whether he is objectifying women through his remarks, the Dalai Lama refused, claiming that he is only pointing out that a leader will not be able to appeal to his devotees with a "dead or unattractive face". Another part of the interview that drew sharp reaction was about the Dalai Lama's views on refugees. The Tibetan leader, who himself is a migrant, expressed concern over Europe becoming a "Muslim country" or an "African country". Dalai Lama Says Indian Muslims Can Set an Example of Religious Harmony for World.

The Dalai Lama stood by his remark made last year that "Europe is for Europeans", and added: "European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, and the aim is return to their own land with certain skills." As many described his statement "anti-migrant" and "anti-Muslim", the Tibetan leader issued a clarification and said he is against the divisive idea of "us" and "them".

Citing his previous statements, the Facebook post says the Dalai Lama has sympathy for those who had to leave their land in search of peace and prosperity, and also understands "the fears of people in host countries".

"We should help them now in their desperation. But, eventually, they will want to return to their own lands. This is what we Tibetans have always had in mind. First of all we must see peace and development restored in the countries refugees have fled, but in the long run it is natural to want to live in the land where you were born," the post quotes his 2017 remarks as clarification.