BRATISLAVA, Slovakia—Supporters of the Divine Performing Arts company mounted a peaceful appeal outside the Slovak National Theatre on Jan. 21, after the theater’s recent refusal to allow Divine Performing Arts, a travelling traditional Chinese performing arts company, to perform in their halls. The theatre’s decision is believed to be due to political pressure from the Chinese Embassy in Slovakia.
Chairman of the Slovakian Falun Dafa Association Marek Tatarko, which is local host to the performance, said that the theater was visited by representatives from the Chinese Embassy before the first Divine Performing Arts (DPA) schedule in March 2008. He says the embassy also sent letters to the sponsors, asking them to withdraw their support for the show. “Efforts from the Chinese embassy to thwart the DPA performance is another attempt at censorship, the same kind we remember from our own country’s Communists past,” said Tatarko. He said he hopes the Slovak National Theatre will reconsider its decision, and “not bow to the pressure from Chinese regime, who tries to export its persecution of Falun Gong abroad.”
Divine Performing Arts notes in its materials that many of its performers practice the Falun Gong spiritual discipline, which has been persecuted in mainland China since 1999. [caption id=”attachment_79907″ align=”alignleft” width=”320″ caption=”Protesters holds the signs