Richard Gere greeting Shingza Rinpoche in New York at the site of the indefinite hunger strike on March 9, 2012. (Photo/TYC)
DHARAMSHALA, March 10: Hollywood actor and a long-time friend of Tibet, Richard Gere said the self-immolations inside Tibet were indicators of the Tibetan people’s motivation not to hurt other people in their struggle for freedom.
“The 26 self-immolations inside Tibet are indications of how desperate people are inside Tibet,” Gere said. “The self-immolations are also an indication of the motivation of Tibetans not to hurt anybody else.”
The award-winning actor was speaking at the site of indefinite fast for Tibet in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York, yesterday.
Lauding the three hunger strikers as “courageous men,” Gere said he came to show his solidarity with his “brothers and sisters” inside Tibet and China.
“I think it is very important that we are here in front of the UN, an organisation that was instituted so that all people in the world can have a voice and somewhere to go to for human rights and self-expression,” Gere said.
Although China is a member of the UN, Gere said that “unfortunately” China has used its veto power to “blank all movements to help the Syrian people and Tibetan people.”
“Chinese themselves are going through horrendous times under the control of the Communist Party,” Gere added.
Offering khataks to the three Tibetans who are now into their 18th day of hunger strike, demanding UN intervention in ongoing crisis in Tibet, Gere made an open call to share the “pain and suffering” of the Tibetan people.
“I call on all everyone to share-in the pain and suffering of the Tibetan people, share-in their aspiration for freedom, for the ability to develop and expand their culture, the basis of which is Buddhism,” Gere said.
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay, Tibet’s de facto prime minister, in his National Uprising Day statement today called on the UN to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Tibet.
“I urge the UN to live up to its objective and address the crisis in Tibet by appointing a Special Rapporteur and visiting Tibet,” Dr Sangay said.