Following the spate of self-immolations in Tibet, Hollywood actor and Tibet supporter, Richard Gere asked Tibetans on Tuesday to be strong and united in its struggle for a free Tibet.
Gere was speaking at an exclusive interactive session with staff members of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in the exile seat of Dharamshala, north India.
The long-time friend of Tibet said that keeping the Tibetan community united was of “paramount importance” in the face of repressive Chinese policies in Tibet and hardships in exile.
“The hearts of the Tibetan people have remained unchanged. The three generations of Tibetans have done very well, especially in education and health,” Gere noted.
Accompanying the Hollywood star, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay described Gere as a weather-tested friend of Tibet.
“Though Gere was born as an American, but he is very much Tibetan in heart,” said Dr Sangay.
Kalon Tripa thanked the Hollywood actor for supporting the Tibetan cause at the risk of his film career.
“His passion for Tibet is well-known to the extent that it jeopardises his film career with a semi-ban on his visit to China,” said Dr Sangay.
Richard Gere, who has starred in popular movies such as An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, and Chicago, assured that Tibet has won “deep and heartfelt friends” across the world for contributing greatly through its rich culture and religion.
“We consider you as the best of who you are. We can never repay what Tibetans have contributed to the world,” said the 62-year old actor.