Dalai Lama to meet sex abuse victims in Netherlands

The Dalai Lama will meet with victims of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers in the Netherlands on Friday afternoon, responding to an urgent appeal 12 victims sent to him. As far as is known, this is the first time that the Dalai Lama is meeting with abuse victims, NOS reports.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama was saddened to hear about the sexual abuse that students have suffered from Buddhist teachers", his secretary Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa wrote in an email to victims, according to the broadcaster. He added that the Dalai Lama "constantly condemned such irresponsible and unethical behavior". He previously advised pupils to warn teachers "that such misconduct was intolerable and had to stop", and if that did not work, the pupils were advised to publicly criticize the "perpetrator with name and surname". 

On Friday afternoon the victims will have the opportunity to offer their written testimonies and a petition to the Dalai Lama. Three of the victims are Dutch. The perpetrators named in the testimony are Buddhist teachers who were or still are active in several countries.

The initiators are pleased that they will meet with the Dalai Lama. "I find it amazing and am very happy that the Dalai Lama promised this", Oane Bijlsma said to the broadcaster. "His email also really expressed his concern. Serious things have long been known about the abuse by Buddhist teachers. We are excited to see how the Dalai Lama can ensure that he does not support those teachers."

On Saturday morning the Dalai Lama will start his official visit to the Netherlands with a "dialogue" in the New Church in Amsterdam about "compassion and technology". He will also open the exhibition "The Life of Buddha". On Sunday morning he will give a lecture in Rotterdam Ahoy. The Dalai Lama will end his visit with a Buddhist lesson on Monday. 


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