Dalai Lama's incarnation comments meant to offend China says Beijing official
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves to devotees outside the United Nations where the Human Rights Council is holding its 31st Session in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2016 Reuters

The Dalai Lama says that he was aware of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and there was "nothing new" about such allegations.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who is revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission in the Netherlands, where he met victims of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers on Friday, reports AFP.

Dozens of victims had launched a petition asking to meet him during his four-day trip, which is part of his European tour.

The victims in their petition said: "We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart until we were raped in its name".

"I already know about these things, nothing new," the Dalai Lama told the Dutch national TV channel NOS on Saturday.

He added that 25 years ago at a conference for western Buddhist teachers held in Dharamshala someone mentioned about the problem of sexual abuse allegations.

Dalai Lama (83), who lives in exile in Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh), said people who commit sexual abuse don't care about the teachings of Buddha.

"So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame," he said.

Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to hold a conference in Dharamshala in November.

"At the meeting, they should talk about the issue. I think the religious leaders should pay more attention," the Dalai Lama said.

"The Dalai Lama has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour," said Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, the Tibetan spiritual leader's representative in Europe.