The Dalai Lama on Monday issued an apology after a video showing the Tibetan spiritual leader kissing a child on his lips and asking him to “suck his tongue” triggered outrage.

“His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] wishes to apologise to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused,” a statement from his office said.

His office said that the Dalai Lama “often teases people in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before the camera” and added that he regrets the incident.

Many on social media denounced the video as “disgusting” and “shameful”.

In 2019, the Dalai Lama had apologised for saying that if his successor was a female, she would have to be attractive. A statement said that he had been joking.