If Woman Succeeds Me, Must Be Attractive: Dalai Lama Doubles Down

Stirring a controversy, the Dalai Lama said that both “the mind and the appearance matter”.

2 min read
Dalai Lama told BCC that he has still not given up hope on returning to Tibet, since China’s mentality is changing.

Stirring a controversy (again), the Dalai Lama has emphasised that if a woman was to succeed him, she ‘should be attractive’.

Apart from his misogynistic comment, the Tibetan spiritual leader, who was interviewing with the BBC, made some other remarks that can be deemed xenophobic.

Suggesting that Europe should be kept for Europeans, he said: “The whole Europe (will) eventually become Muslim country? Impossible. Or African country? Also impossible."

The Dalai Lama also commented on who might succeed him after his death.


The Dalai Lama, when asked about the possibility of a female successor, said that if a female Dalai Lama were to come, she ‘should be attractive’. If she's not attractive, most people will not like to see her, he said in a controversial statement.

When asked if this could amount to objectification, and that this statement meant a woman’s mind doesn’t matter, the Dalai Lama responded saying, “I think both”.

He had made similar comments in 2015, when he told the BBC that a future Dalai Lama could be a woman as long as she was good looking or it would be of "not much use."


“His emotions are a little bit too complicated,” was the 14th Dalai Lama’s response to being asked about what he thinks of US President Donald Trump. When asked as what he thinks of Trump in the Oval Office, he said that Trump has a lack of moral principle.

“When he became the president, he said that America First, which is wrong. America should take the global responsibility.”
Dalai Lama


When asked about Brexit, he said that despite being an outsider, he thinks the United Kingdom should stay within the European Union.

“I am an admirer of the spirit of the European Union.” 
Dalai Lama

When asked about one of his quotes being used by the 'Leave' campaigners, that Europe could become Muslim or African thanks to the influx of refugees, he said that the European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, with an aim to return them to their own land.

When asked if they should be allowed to stay if they want, he said a limited number is okay, but the whole of Europe becoming a Muslim country or an African country is impossible, which he think could be the outcome if refugees overstay.


On returning to Tibet, the Dalai Lama said that he hasn't given up hope of returning as the Tibetan people have shown their trust in him and they are very eager. “They keep asking me when will I return.”

On being asked on how his return could possibly happen, Tenzin Gyatso (the Dalai Lama’s religious name) said that China is changing now.


On China, the Dalai Lama said that he has been having private conversations with Chinese officials and scholars who have connections with the Chinese government.

Do you think China’s growing influence is having an impact on your influence and the cause of Tibet?

I don’t care. No. I think the Chinese themselves are changing. Their attitude is changing.

(With inputs from BBC)

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