Richard Gere to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday

A longtime Buddhist, Gere has starred in scores of hit movies, as well as a few flops (“Nights in Rodanthe”?). But throughout his career, his advocacy on behalf of occupied Tibet hasn’t wavered.

To wit, Gere will testify Thursday morning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the status of the Tibetan Policy Act (TPA), which was signed into law in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush. 

The act recognized Tibet as an occupied nation, rather than a region of China, and it’s been a sticking point in U.S.-Chinese relations ever since. In 2008, the House reaffirmed the TPA by a vote of 413-1.

Gere’s testimony will likely represent a bright spot in an otherwise depressing hearing: Alongside Tibet, agenda items include human rights in Myanmar and North Korea — or, more specifically, the lack thereof.