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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

An opera written to offer a rose-tinted portrayal of China's relationship with Tibet will run in a large Beijing theatre for three days this week

August 21, 2008

The Telegraph
August 20, 2008

"Princess Wencheng," the story of a 7th century Tibetan king who
married a Chinese princess, was commissioned by the Chinese
government after a Tibetan uprising in 1959.

The decision to stage the opera will likely enrage Western activists
who have been barred from protesting against Chinese repression in
Tibet earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for the Meilanfang Grand Theatre said the show would be
one of the key cultural performances of the Beijing Olympics, despite
China's repeated calls to keep politics out of the Games.

The piece is a blend of classical Tibetan and Chinese operatic
styles, using drums and cymbals alongside the more typical harmonic vocals.

"We will carry on the luxurious visual styles of both operas," said
the spokeswoman, Liu Can. "Dragon robes and brocades from Peking
opera will be presented along with the loose-bodied, luminous Tibetan clothes."

Princess Wencheng, the daughter of a Tang dynasty emperor, was
married at the age of 16 to King Songtsan Gambo of Tibet, where she
lived for 40 years.

Beijing has long sought to portray the princess as an icon of
Chinese-Tibetan harmony.

Rioting in the Tibetan capital Lhasa earlier this year left at least
22 people dead and was crushed by the Chinese authorities.

That prompted angry demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet for
weeks afterwards in Western countries where the Olympic torch was
paraded before it travelled to Beijing.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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