In an interview with BBC, the Dalai Lama made controversial comments about the president and social issues

By Jason Duaine Hahn
June 27, 2019 06:59 PM
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Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty

The Dalai Lama criticized President Donald Trump and doubled down on controversial remarks he made in the past about a potential female successor having to be “attractive.”

In an interview with the BBC published on Thursday, the Dalai Lama — the spiritual leader of Tibet — said Trump had shown a “lack of moral principle” during his term as president.

“One day he says something, another day he says something, but I think lack of moral principle,” the 83-year-old leader said, before commenting on Trump’s campaign slogan during the 2016 campaign. “When he became president, he expressed America first. That is wrong.”

“America … should take a global responsibility,” he added.

One of the concerns the Dalai Lama pointed to was Trump’s handling of the immigration crisis on the southern border, which has left hundreds of migrant children in detention centers, separated from their parents.

“When I saw pictures of some of those young children, I was sad,” the Dalai Lama said.

As USA Today points out, the Dalai Lama previously said he held “no worries” about Trump’s impending presidency back in 2016.

The Buddhist monk then defended controversial remarks he made in 2015 in response to the idea of a possible female successor to his position. If this happened, the Dalai Lama said, the female successor must be “very attractive.”

When asked about the comments by the BBC’s South Asia Correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan, the Dalai Lama — who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 — didn’t back away from them.

“If (a) female Dalai Lama comes, then she should be more attractive,” the Dalai Lama said, reaffirming his earlier comments.

“People, I think, prefer not see her… that face,” he added, according to USA Today.

Vaidyanathan then tried to explain why the comments could be hurtful.

The Dalai Lama
| Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty

“A lot of women would say that’s objectifying women, it’s about who you are on the inside,” Vaidyanathan said.

“Yes, I think both,” the Dalai Lama replied.

As CNN notes, it’s unclear who would take over the Dalai Lama’s position when he passes, as Tibetan Buddhists believe the leader is perpetually reincarnated. He has lived in India since he banished himself from Tibet in 1959.