As they had on fifteen previous occasions, Citizens Against Communist Chinese Propaganda held a protest demonstration at the main gate of the Florida Splendid China theme park in Kissimmee, Florida. The continuing demonstrations have been held since the opening of the park in response to the exhibition of replicas which are insulting to the Tibetan, Southern Mongolian, and Eastern Turkestani peoples.
This protest marked the commemoration of the thirty-eighth anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, a point in history which marks the death of thousands of Tibetans as well the forced exile of the Tibetan government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On March 10, 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetan people, fearing a Chinese plot to kidnap the Dalai Lama, formed a human wall in advance of Chinese troops. The demonstrators, as well as the Potala palace, home to successive Dalai Lamas since the 17th century, were subjected to an intense attack of artillery and modern weapons. The Potala palace survived, but thousands of people perished (or were placed in jail for many years).
Today the thousand room Potala palace remains empty of many of the things it once knew, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government, the Namgyal Monastery, and many statues and paintings. The Potala stands empty on Marpori Hill, except for the security forces and monitoring equipment.
Such is a short description of the Potala palace now, not quite the same story that is implied by the inclusion of the Potala palace exhibit at the Florida Splendid China theme park, which is why Citizens Against Communist Chinese Propaganda will continue to demonstrate at the theme park until the exhibits are removed or relabeled.
On this occasion, the weather could not have been better and the tourists were expected to be jamming the gates to get in, however, despite the long lines at Disney (two miles away) traffic into the park was very slow. Most of the cars belonged to employees and the ones that didn't, were very quick to turn around. CACCP estimated that out of the 80 or so cars which turned down Splendid China Blvd. into the park, 40 spend less than 30 minutes inside and drove away.
Another feature of this demonstration was the return of the EMT golf-cart and the conspicuous absence of the Osceola Sheriff's Office(OSO) (they did come by and give us the peace sign, however). CACCP is happy to know that the confrontational atmosphere of previous demonstrations has subsided and that we can return to the cordial relationship which we have enjoyed with security at past demonstrations. (We had been wondering why they were shooting themselves in the foot when we showed up, the OSO chased away more tourists than we did, just by being there.)
CACCP also wishes to extend it's gratitude to the security department of Florida Splendid China for it's gift of the book entitled, 'Biographies of the Dalai Lamas', by Ya Hanzhang. It is usually difficult to obtain this book outside of the PRC, and serves as an excellent example of the manner in which the Communist Chinese government is changing history to serve it's needs.
At the conclusion of the demonstration, the protesters waved and mentioned that they would be back on April 27, 1997, to commemorate the communist takeover of Southern Mongolia, the second of six protests planned for Florida Splendid China for 1997.