Prominent refugees at the Gankyi stadium in Dharamsala gave the actor a thunderous applause as he walked in to address the gathering late Tuesday . He was flanked by Lobsang Sangay , prime minister of the Tibetan governmentâ€“in-exile .
Recounting how he came into contact with the Tibetan cause , Gere said his curosity and quest for happiness landed him in Kathmandu in 1970 .
â€œAfter reading John Avedonâ€™s â€˜In Exile the Land of Snowsâ€™ the book raised my passion to go to Dharamsala to know more about Tibet ,â€ he recalled .
â€œIt struck me very deeply when the Dalai Lama told me that the Tibetans need help help from him and other Western friends,â€ Gere said .
He said Tibetan people have won deep and heartfelt friends across the world for contributing greatly through their rich culture and religion .
â€œWe consider you the best of who you are .We can never repay what the Tibetans have contributed to the world,â€ he said .
When asked about changes in the Tibetan movement he said it was of paramount importance to keep the community united .
â€œThe hearts of the Tibetans have remained unchanged .The three generations of Tbetans have done very well, especially in education and health ,â€ he added .
He then said the failure is actually in Tibet .So we should try to improve the lives of Tibetans in Tibet that is the challenge .
In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.