Bombala Times (Australia): Human Rights Torch nearing

29 November 2007

While many readers may remember Andrew and his family from their time in Bombala, few may be aware of the Global Human Rights Torch and its purpose, so Andrew provided us with the following information to introduce the community to the project:

1. What is the torch relay for?

The torch relay is to bring awareness about the serious Human Rights violations happening to Falun Gong practitioners in China and all other people of Conscience being persecuted.

2. Where did it start?

The torch began in Athens on August 9th, 2007.

3. Why come to Bombala?

I am the co-ordinator for the NSW leg of the Torch. Bombala is my home town and I believe that the people of Bombala, and all country towns, are the real essence of Australia.

We Aussies, on the whole are a good bunch of people with high moral principles. Even though China is so far away "as the crow flies", it is really in many aspects of our day to day life.

If you turn the nearest thing on your desk or table upside down, chances are it was made in China. If you look where the shirt on your back was made, chances are it was made in China.

Many of these things are made by Falun Gong practitioners, incarcerated in Labour Camps. Child Labor or people being made to work for as little as $30 a month.

I hope many will come to support this event. It really will be a part of history. This Torch is going all over the world and each town and city will be seen by millions.

4. Who is behind the Torch Relay?

This global event has been organised by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG). It is made up of many different Non Government Organisations, all wanting to see an end to the terrible Human Rights violations happen in China today.

5. Is it political?

This event is in no way political.

When China accepted the Olympic Games it promised the world it would stop all of its terrible human rights violations. The truth is things are now worse in China than before.

Bringing awareness about these human rights violations has nothing to do with politics. It is about standing up for people who are being murdered, raped and tortured because they believe in Heaven. Catholics, Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners, House Church Christians and many other people of Conscience.

Human Rights have no boundaries and can never be put under the heading of politics.

I have one message for the Chinese Communist Party. "You are the ones who are killing and torturing your own people. You are the ones who promised to stop. We want nothing other than the torture and persecution of these good people to stop. The world is watching and seeing all the things you are doing."

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