Spiritual leader Dalai Lama has apologized for his comments where he said that if his successor is a woman, she should be "attractive".
In a statement shared on Twitter, the Nobel laureate said he did not mean to offend anyone, as the remark was made in jest.
"Firstly, in responding to a question about whether his own reincarnation could be a woman, and suggesting that if she were she should be attractive, His Holiness genuinely meant no offence. He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies," read the statement.
Talking to the media recently, the exiled Tibetan leader had said that any future female Dalai Lama should be "attractive". The original context of his referring to the physical appearance of a woman successor was a conversation with the then Paris editor of Vogue magazine, who had invited His Holiness in 1992 to guest-edit the next edition. She asked if a future Dalai Lama could be a woman. His Holiness replied,
"Certainly, if that would be more helpful," adding, as a joke, that she should be attractive. He was at least partially responding to the unfamiliar ambience of working with a team whose prime focus was the world of high fashion," it added.
Dalai Lama also asserted that he opposed the objectification of women and that he has also supported women and their rights.
"For all his long life, his Holiness has opposed the objectification of women, has supported women and their rights and celebrated the growing international consensus in support of gender equality and respect for women. Under his leadership, Tibetan nuns in exile have earned Geshe-ma degrees, indicating a high level of scholarship previously reserved only for male monks," it said.
He also reiterated his views on immigration into Europe, saying that only a "limited number" of refugees should be allowed to stay. The Dalai Lama has made India his home since fleeing Tibet in 1959, and has been a thorn in Beijing's side ever since. China brands him a "wolf in a monk's robe" and accuses him of trying to split China.
(With ANI Inputs)