The 2009 Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation awards ceremony was held on the evening of September 26th, 2009 in Baldwin Park, Los Angeles. When the host announced that Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong had been granted the "Outstanding Spiritual Leader" award this year, the audience responded with long, warm applause. Falun Gong practitioner Li Youfu from Los Angeles accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Li Hongzhi.
History will remember today
Founding president of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation Pan Qing made a special trip from New Zealand to participate in the awards ceremony. He said, "Today is a very special day, and a day that is destined to remain in history, because today we issue a very special 'Spiritual Leader' award to Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong."
Mr. Pan continued that all people who are concerned about China won't forget that during the past ten years, Falun Gong is the group that has been subjected to the most severe persecution. The suffering that Falun Gong practitioners have gone through surpasses the limits that most people can endure, but Falun Gong has brought the world new values and a new spirit with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. So this award is being issued to the great spiritual leader Mr. Li Hongzhi with heartfelt joy and the utmost respect.
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance plays an enormous role in purifying the soul
The Director of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation and Secretary of China Social Democratic Party, Liu Yinquan, stated that all kinds of problems in today's society stem from lack of morality. Falun Dafa emphasises spiritual cultivation, and moral elevation. Master Li Hongzhi's Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance plays an enormous role in purifying the soul.
Mr. Li Hongzhi deserves the "Outstanding Spiritual Leadership" award
Mr. Liu Yinquan continued, saying that Falun Gong practitioners founded The Epoch Times newspaper, New Tang Dynasty TV, Sound of Hope Radio and other media, and have played an irreplaceable role in defending human rights and striving to end persecution in China. The Shen Yun Performing Arts company has toured several continents to perform, gaining worldwide fame and being warmly received by people in different countries around the world. NTDTV's series of competitions also play a huge role in promoting traditional Chinese culture. Led by Mr. Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong practitioners have achieved so many amazing things, which illustrate even more that Mr. Li Hongzhi is worthy of the outstanding spiritual leadership award.
The host of the awards ceremony, Tao Jun, added that Falun Gong practitioners have made another tremendous contribution: inventing software to circumvent the Internet censorship in China and elsewhere around the world. Currently there are hundreds of thousands of Internet users daily in mainland China, and 99 percent of users log onto outside websites via such software to obtain truthful information.
Master Li Hongzhi led his disciples to make it through ten years of huge tribulations
The representative of Falun Gong practitioners, Li Youfu, remarked that Master Li introduced Falun Dafa, whose adherents cultivate the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, to the public for the first time since 1992. By 1999, 100 million people were practising Falun Dafa and benefiting both physically and mentally, and leading the moral elevation of the entire society.
Mr. Li Youfu said, "On July 20th, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party headed by Jiang, out of jealousy and his wicked nature, launched an extremely brutal persecution of Falun Gong. In the past ten years of tremendous tribulations, more than 100 million practitioners have been subjected to persecution, and millions of practitioners have been incarcerated in prisons, forced labour camps and mental hospitals. A large number of Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of persecution, and the persecution is still going on. The persecution not only targets Falun Gong practitioners in China, but is also a ruthless, destructive force against justice, morality and the conscience of humanity."
Facing the CCP's persecution, Master Li, with enormous benevolence and immeasurable wisdom, led disciples to remain steadfast in their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and put in extraordinary effort and to awaken people's kind thoughts and conscience. Falun Gong practitioners, guided by their revered Master, have exposed the evil and clarified the facts about Falun Gong in a peaceful and compassionate manner to help people see clearly the evil, understand the true situation, and have their kind thoughts restored. Now Falun Gong has been spread to over 100 countries.
"Master's enormous moral inspiration led me to the path of cultivation"
A spokesperson for Falun Gong in Los Angeles, UCLA professor Wu Yingnian, recalled his cultivation in the past ten years, and felt that Master's enormous moral inspiration led him to the path of cultivation.
Wu Yingnian recalled that he met Master Li for the first time in October 1996 in Houston, where listened to Master Li expound profound principles with simple and easy to understand language. He then became determined to cultivate Falun Gong. He said that Master Li imparted his teachings and taught people to cultivate. The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have touched the hearts of millions of people. Even in such an unprecedented, brutal persecution, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have remained steadfast in their cultivation.
Mr. Wu continued that during the ten-year-long efforts against the persecution, not a single violent act has ever been committed by Falun Gong practitioners, which is more than sufficient to show that Falun Gong is a kind and peaceful group, and also prove that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance has immeasurable moral strength.
Glad for friends at the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation
Falun Gong practitioner Liu Yi from Los Angeles said that ten years ago, when the CCP started the persecution, the media worldwide reprinted slanderous reports by the Xinhua news agency about Falun Gong, causing many people to have misunderstandings. At that time, Falun Gong did not have the means to voice their concerns, so no one truly understood Falun Gong, nobody dared to stand up for Falun Gong, and nobody believed that Falun Gong would keep going until today.
Mr. Liu said that the persecution has not stopped, and the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation's award to Master Li indicates that people overseas have gained a deeper understanding of Falun Gong. "Our friends at the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation can distinguish good and evil, and speak up for truth and justice. Their righteous act today has great meaning, and I'm really happy for them."
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