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Tibet Protests in Crisis, But a Good Day For Richard Gere

At least two people are dead following clashes between protesters and security forces in Tibet's main city of Lhasa. The incidents occurred at rallies week, sparked when a number of Buddhist monks were reportedly arrested after a march marking the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. They have continued all week, leading some to call them the largest protests against Beijing's rule in 20 years.

The crux of the longstanding conflict? China says Tibet has always been part of its territory even though Tibet has enjoyed long periods of autonomy prior to the twentieth century. Many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama, who fled in 1959.

Under the heading of related but not: Richard Gere, famous Tibetan advocate, has been cleared of an arrest warrant today. He was a wanted man in India for allegedly breaking public obscenity laws by kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. The controversial kiss happened at an AIDS awareness event last year prompting Hindu hardliners to allege the pair had offended the sensibilities of India's traditionally conservative culture.

His statement of freedom? "Gere is allowed to come and leave. He can't be arrested," according to an attorney for Shetty.


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