Between September 14-16, Falun Gong practitioners distributed approximately 6,000 fliers in the central part of Vilnius, which is the capital city of Lithuania. We were there during the Capital Days celebration. It was the ideal time for us to be there as there were thousands of people walking the streets looking at and buying traditional crafts and food.
There was tremendous interest in us and sometimes people would come across the street and ask us for a flier. We had many touching conversations with people of every age.
One group of teenagers asked why they had never seen any reports of this information in the news. We were happy to let them know that they would soon be able to read more, and that they could find lots of information on the web-site. One very small child riding on her fathers shoulders was particularly interested in reading the flier as her father held it up. Another Spanish-looking man was almost desperate to get more information and again, as when we were in Tallinn, Estonia, there were so many grandparents who took our small fliers as if they were the most precious pieces of paper.
The people of the Baltics understand the pain of suppression. Vilnius is being restored to its full splendour of beautiful old architecture in soft pastel colours. There are quite a lot of tourists, which will really boost their economy.
Early on a Monday morning, commuters near the bus and train stations in downtown Vilnius were a little surprised to see me doing Falun Gong exercises at the edge of the park on the hill at a major intersection. Wearing my bright yellow jacket, I thought it would be very hard not to see me there.
Later on I met a young friend of mine and together we went to see his father who is one of the Lithuanian members of parliament. He very generously gave me an hour-long meeting. He wants to give our information to the sports and health people, and also to an acquaintance of his who is studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Afterwards my friend and I went to City Hall and were granted a meeting with the advisor to the Mayor. She was a totally lovely person who promised to brief the Mayor later in the week after he returns from a visit to Ryga, and invited us to contact her when we want to meet with any other institutions in Vilnius. She said she would be very happy to help us.
At both of those meetings, I advised that in the near future, after our interviews are printed in the newspaper, the Chinese Embassy may give them a lot of propaganda, and that now they have the truth and will be able to decide for themselves. It has been extremely useful having the report from the United Nations, which investigated the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square and concluded that it was an event staged by the government of China (please see Support from Europe category)
These officials are interested in the health benefits the practice of Falun Gong can bring to their country.
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