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Buddhist Gere blasts China's record

Jan. 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- With a resurgence in self-immolations among Tibetans, U.S. actor and Buddhist activist Richard Gere said Beijing is one of the biggest hypocrites in the world.

Advocacy group Free Tibet notes there were at least three reports of self-immolations among Tibetans so far this year. Gere, during a visit to India, said Beijing doesn't have a true understanding of Tibetans.

"Their whole lives have revolved around Buddhism, around their teachers, around their gurus," he was quoted by The Guardian newspaper in London as saying. "They are not going to change that in a hundred years, two hundred years, a thousand years."

Some of the reports regarding self-immolations last year came from officials at the Kirti monastery in North India.

A Tibetan activist told CNN this week as many as 2,000 Tibetans marched on a local political station in Qinqhai province to protest the death of a Tibetan monk who set himself on fire in a protest suicide during the weekend.

Gere said the international community shouldn't turn a blind eye to Chinese indiscretions because of its "economic muscle."

"No one wants to live in hypocrisy, and China is the largest hypocrisy in the world right now," he said.

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