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Knew about sexual-abuse by Buddhist teachers; nothing new: Dalai Lama

16 Sep 2018 | By Ramya Patelkhana
Dalai Lama on sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers

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, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, today made the admission during his four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he had met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.

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In context: Dalai Lama on sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers

16 Sep 2018Knew about sexual-abuse by Buddhist teachers; nothing new: Dalai Lama

VictimsWe were raped in the name of Buddhism: Victims

The Dalai Lama was responding to a call from a dozen of victims who launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.

"I already did know these things, nothing new," he said.

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

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Sexual abusers don't care about Buddha's teaching: Dalai Lama

StatementSexual abusers don't care about Buddha's teaching: Dalai Lama

"Twenty-five years ago... someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations" at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in northern India, the Dalai Lama said.

He said people who commit sexual abuse "don't care about the Buddha's teaching."

"Now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame," he added, speaking in English.

Meeting in DharamshalaThe Dalai Lama lives in exile in Dharamshala

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

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

"At that time they should talk about it. I think the religious leaders should pay more attention," the 83-year-old Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday.