Dalai Lama's American Connection

For two decades, a group of Buddhists American, including scholar Robert Thurman, Richard Gere and composer Philip Glass, have been voiced against China oppression of Tibet, and called on the communist government to open talks with the Tibet leader, Dalai Lama.

An attempt for Tibet House, which was founded in 1987 at the request of the Dalai Lama, from a group including Gere, Glass and Thurman, who is known as the father of actress Uma Thurman. The Manhattan center is a kind of cultural embassy intent on preserving Tibetan Buddhist religion, art and philosophy.

The International Campaign for Tibet, chaired by Gere, since 1995, promotes awareness of Chinese oppression of Tibet around the world. As can be seen from the best-known lawyer, Gere spoke about the suppression of Tibetan culture before Congress in the United States, the European Parliament and the United Nations on human rights.

These projects have helped to popularize the Dalai Lama and Tibetan culture but they have no influence on China, which is embroiled in another massive depression just months before the Olympics Beijing 2008. As the situation in Tibet has grown more dire, celebrities like actors Keanu Reeves, Goldie Hawn, and rock star Adam Yauch continue to flock to Dharamsala, India, home of the Tibetan government in-exile, for the salvation of the circuit.

Richard Gere, who has poured millions of his own money to human rights causes, also established the Gere Foundation, a nonprofit group that aids Tibetan refugees and promotes an autonomous Tibet.

Weather these celebrities are able to conduct a totalitarian government remains to be seen. Or will it be another group of celebrities means mean nothing like one protested Iraq war?

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