National Security

Richard Gere joins Pelosi in op-ed praising Dalai Lama


House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi teamed up with actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere to praise the life of the Dalai Lama for his 80th birthday on Monday.

After spending more than a half century in exile from his home, the Buddhist spiritual leader should be a model for the globe and cause for China to reform its human rights policies, Pelosi (Calif.) and Gere said. 

{mosads}“The nonviolent nature of the Tibetan struggle should serve as an inspiration for a world riven by conflict and shattering acts of violence,” the two wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed

“Realizing the bold vision and goals of the Dalai Lama would not only make China more stable but also more genuinely secure, allowing greater strides toward modernization and responsible leadership in the world,” they added. “There is no better way to honor the Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday than by standing with him and the Tibetan people, vowing to keep their cause alive.”

Despite his strong appeal across the globe, the Dalai Lama has had a long and tortuous relationship with the Chinese government. He fled China at the age of 24, fearing for his life, and has since lived in exile in India. 

The Chinese government continues to insist he is an agitator trying to stir up trouble and splinter China, and has repeatedly rejected any talk of new autonomy for his home region of Tibet.

The U.S. and other nations should do more to pressure China to change course, Pelosi and Gere wrote on Monday, both for the Dalai Lama and others hurt by Beijing’s limits on various forms of expression.

“At a time when China has increasing diplomatic heft, other nations grant too much accommodation to a government that imprisons its artists, free thinkers, lawyers, poets and human-rights activists,” they wrote. “We need to develop a more honest and clearheaded relationship with the current Chinese leadership — one that encourages China to become a better and more responsible global citizen.”

Tags Dalai Lama Nancy Pelosi Richard Gere Tibet
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