Thubten Jigme Norbu, Eldest brother of the Dalai Lama, will attend a demonstration in support of Independence for Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, and Taiwan from Chinese occupation at the Florida Splendid China theme park on Sunday October 12 at 10:00 a.m.
Thubten Jigme Norbu, retired professor of Tibetan Studies at Indiana University, and former representative of the Tibetan Government in Exile to North America and Japan will travel to Kissimmee next week to attend a demonstration marking the 48th anniversary of the Communist Chinese takeover of Eastern Turkestan. Professor Norbu hopes to discuss with park officials his concerns about the park's historical misrepresentations and their commercialization of sacred Tibetan sites, including the Potala Palace.
Jack Churchward, coordinator of the event, doubts park officials will speak with Professor Norbu. According to documents recently retrieved from the Hong Kong government prior to its reversion to Chinese rule, executives at China Travel Services, the Hong Kong based company which owns Florida Splendid China, are appointed by Premier Li Peng and the State Council of the Chinese government.
"Local park officials would probably be sent to a Laogai (Reform Through Labor) camp if they started a dialogue with someone as controversial as Professor Norbu. Professor Norbu and his brother the Dalai Lama are considered counter-revolutionaries, in China that's a crime punishable by death."
"They have not even responded to letters from Florida citizens concerning the exhibits, it would be a major change in policy and one that many would welcome. It would go a long way towards solving some of the concerns of Florida citizens that have accompanied their opening since Dec. of 1993."
Accompanying Professor Norbu will be representatives of other ethnic minority groups who will call for the removal of miniature displays which they claim falsify and distort their history. Mr. Ablajan Baret, an ethnic Muslim Uighur and formerly a Judge in the remote Northwest province of Xinjiang (formerly Eastern Turkestan), will be on hand to help commemorate the 48th anniversary of the Chinese Communist takeover of his homeland. Mr. Baret is concerned about the park's controversial depiction of renowned Uighur shrines.
This demonstration is part of a larger nationwide Tibet awareness campaign accompanying the release of the new film "Seven Years in Tibet," starring Brad Pitt. Pitt stars as a Western European mountaineer Heinrich Harrer who lived in Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion and became close to the Dalai Lama.
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