On December 7, 2003, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao arrived in New York, and practitioners unfurled two prominent banners reading, "Welcome Wen Jiabao to the U.S." and "Bring Jiang Zemin To Justice," capturing the attention of all. Is there any special significance to this event? A Minghui [Falun Gong website] reporter prepared the following after interviewing practitioners in attendance.
Against the Persecution While Upholding the Principles
Mr. Wu from Philadelphia is a young electrical engineer and has practiced Falun Gong for six years. He said, "What we oppose is the Jiang group's illegal persecution of Falun Gong. During the past four years we have been working hard to end this persecution, and our goal is very clear."
When talking about welcoming Wen Jiabao's visit, Mr. Wu said, "This shows the customary peacefulness of Falun Gong practitioners, and it's also an opportunity for the new Chinese leader to witness the morale of Falun Gong practitioners. There are at least 50,000,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China, and if we include their families, the number would exceed 100,000,000. If historically such a large group was persecuted, violence and bloodletting would have taken place a long time ago, but Falun Gong practitioners have remained peaceful and rational. After four years of brutal persecution carried out by certain segments of the Chinese government under Jiang's coercion, Falun Gong is still able to use the word 'welcome' for a new Chinese leader."
Mr. Wu continued, "Of course we hope the new Chinese leaders will not lose their ability to judge between right and wrong like Jiang Zemin did. In fact, when a person acknowledges Truth-Compassion-Tolerance and they follow it with their actions, they are creating a positive future for themselves."
Since the persecution began in July 20, 1999, Falun Gong practitioners have continuously and through various channels introduced the facts of Falun Gong to the Chinese government, the Chinese people, foreign governments and people. They called for an end to the persecution. Even for Jiang Zemin himself, after he ordered the public persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have been giving him opportunities to positively learn about Falun Gong, through their writing letters and appeals. However, again and again, Jiang refused these opportunities and single-mindedly escalated the persecution. During his U.S. visits in August and September 2000, he blatantly lied to CBS, the world - renowned news media, and to the rest of the world and slandered Falun Gong and the founder of Falun Gong, in order to create excuses to justify the ban of Falun Gong, which itself is against Chinese constitution. His irrational action finally triggered Falun Gong practitioners around the world to expose his lies, and his New York trip became a turning point that led to "no-return" for Jiang.
Facing Noble Demeanour, Lies are Eliminated Themselves
Mr. Ge from Washington D.C. graduated with a degree in physics, and he is the father of two. He said, "The welcoming gesture toward Wen Jiabao shows Falun Gong is broadminded, disciplined and polite. The persecution in China continues to this day, and Falun Gong practitioners continue to appeal and seek justice for the head criminal Jiang and his followers. Our welcoming Wen does not change our purpose or approach at all, but it does recognize that Wen is not responsible for the persecution."
Ms. Zhao, a manager of a real estate company in California said, "Falun Gong displaying welcome banners exposes the Jiang regime's lies calling Falun Gong an 'anti-China organization' used to incite Chinese people's hatred toward Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners have always pursued goodness. They treat all people in China including those who were cheated by lies kindly, even the police who persecute them. We are not against any government or individual, including Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. All that we do is to help people to clear their misunderstandings of Falun Gong and make a just conclusion based on their first-hand encounters and experiences with Falun Gong."
Mr. Ge said, "Ever since ancient times, orthodox cultivators were never interested in political power. Falun Gong truly pursues moral improvement and returning to our true, original selves. Cultivators are not corrupt and do not commit crimes. They don't bully and they don't yield to injustice. They have no pursuits of fame, fortune or power; no political powers or authorities can buy them. This is all in accordance with Falun Gong's essential teaching of 'Truth-Compassion-Tolerance' and 'No Politics.'"
Mr. Wu said, "Before practicing Falun Gong, practitioners [like just about everyone else in society today] experienced sharp interpersonal conflicts, which made their lives miserable. After they began practicing, their relationships with their families, neighbours and colleagues significantly improved. Therefore we think if everyone disciplines himself or herself, the relationship among people, among families, and among countries will achieve a state of harmony, the conflict will be dissolved with kindness. In the past four years, Falun Gong practitioners have always followed the principles of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance as they peacefully resist the persecution, and they have proved that sincerity, kindness and tolerance are the true path to extinguish contradictory, dissolve hatred and obtain harmony."
Ms. Zhao said, "We are still striving for our freedom of belief, but we believe our efforts benefit far more than ourselves alone. We are in fact trying to win the basic rights of other innocent people who suffer persecution. The peaceful and rational protest by Falun Gong will be a good model, etched in history, a model of peace defeating violence, kindness defeating autocratic power, and justice defeating evil, under the guidance of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, which will allow the world to enter a bright future. It will be recorded in history and the example followed by the human race."
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