Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama regrets asking boy to 'suck my tongue'

His office said he wanted to apologise to the child and his family "for the hurt his words may have caused".

BBC reports the video also shows the Dalai Lama kissing the child on his lips.

"His Holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident," his office said.

The footage has sparked widespread criticism, with many social media users saying it was inappropriate and disturbing.

Exiled Tibetan gov't warns China not to meddle in tradition

It also warned China against proceeding with its plans to choose the next Dalai Lama from inside China, home to some 5.4 million Tibetans, when the present spiritual leader dies.

The Tibetan government-in-exile issued the statement as China was reveling in lavish celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat. Earlier this year, China released a military strategy statement again declaring Tibet has been an integral part of China since antiquity.