Tibetan Flag

World Tibet Network News

Saturday, May 23, 1998

4. Hollywood star Richard Gere defends Indian N-tests (AFP)

NEW DELHI, May 23 (AFP) - Hollywood star and Buddhist Richard Gere defended
India's nuclear tests, applauding the government for standing up to "bully
and trouble-maker" China, a newspaper said Saturday.

"I see nothing wrong with India giving a notice to the world that it is
under threat, and the real threat is China," Gere told the Times of India
in an interview.
Gere, a follower of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama,
backed Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's decision to cite the
nuclear threat from China as justification for the tests.

"I find the Indian stand encouraging and applaud the prime minister of
India for having the courage to tell the world the truth," he added.

"I think that other nations in the region have been kowtowing to China, the
UN and other superpowers for too long now," he said.

The actor condemned the US government for slapping sanctions on India after
last week's tests, and accused the major powers of hypocrisy by massing
their own nuclear weapons while trying to stop India.

"It is absurd -- it would be far more honest if the rules were equally and
uniformly applied to the members of the UN Security Council," he said.

The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty defines permanent Security
Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States as the
world's only nuclear weapons powers.

Gere cautioned India not to start a nuclear arms race with neighbouring
Pakistan, which has threatened to detonate its own device in response to
the Indian action.

"As an American I feel responsible for the weaponisation of Pakistan
because it was the US which supplied technology, along with China,
Pakistan," he added.
Gere -- star of blockbusters such as Pretty Woman and An Officer and A
Gentleman and the former husband of supermodel Cindy Crawford -- is a vocal
campaigner against Chinese rule in Tibet.

During a visit to India last month the actor met with several Indian
leaders, and spent more than a week in the northern Indian town of
Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama lives.

Some 100,000 Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama to India after an abortive
anti-Chinese uprising in their homeland in 1959.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Tibetans Try To Storm Embassy (AP)
  2. Tibetans clash with Indian police in bid to storm Chinese embassy (AFP)
  3. Over 3,993 monks and nuns expelled - Religious Repression Continues in Tibet (TCHRD)
  4. Hollywood star Richard Gere defends Indian N-tests (AFP)
  5. Cape Town Tibet Support Group launched

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