Richard Gere supports boycott of Chinese Olympics

Actorvist Richard Gere is urging a boycott of the Beijing Olympics over human rights violations specific to the region of Tibet.

Gere, chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, told Reuters news service the 2008 Beijing Olympics were a good opportunity to encourage China to end human rights abuses in Tibet and allow the Himalayan region to decide its future.

Gere is a devout Buddhist and has joined the cause for the thousands of Tibetans who marched in New Delhi and New York calling for a boycott of the Beijing games.

“A general boycott to me certainly has value; it’s probably impractical, but emotionally absolutely makes sense,” Gere, 58, said. “Why should the world reward people who are obviously so bad to their own people, so bad to other people.”

“In the same sense, encouragement is really important,” he said to reporters at a press junket to promote “The Hunting Party,” opening in U.S. theaters on Friday.

“Not one country on this planet has got it all together, including the United States.”

Gere is persona non grata in China, a country already on the bad side of so many Americans from the poisoned pet food, fish, toys and sub-standard tainted products being recalled by the millions.  The Chinese will not let him enter the country.

The Chinese government’s involvement in the human rights epicenter of suffering, Darfur, is being protested by actress Mia Farrow as well.

Reuters reports “China has ruled Tibet since 1950. About 120,000 Tibetans are exiled in India, including the Dalai Lama who fled after a failed uprising in 1959.”

Amnesty International and other rights groups say China is severely restricting the freedom of Tibetan people and suppressing their culture.

China counters with their version of the story, that they are “helping a historically poor region develop.”

“China should be achieving extraordinary greatness,” Gere said. “At some point they are going to have to face the fact that this system they have committed themselves to will not work. The kind of pretend dualism of communism and capitalism will explode at some point.”

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