Hello, and welcome to the FGMtv news review. I'm Susan Mitchell.
§ Here at FGMtv we focus on programs and news that illuminate the truth of Falun Gong, which is also known as Falun Dafa; information that is having an impact on the international community of spiritual cultivators.
§ Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. Its principles are based on Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance.
§ The practice began in China in 1992 and quickly spread by word of mouth throughout the country.
§ In 1998, a government survey concluded that the number of practitioners exceeded membership in the communist party.
§ The next year, Jiang Zemin, the President of China, began a brutal persecution that violates not only the Chinese constitution, but also international treaties signed by China
In this week's update from China…
§ 610 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody, with 38 death reports received in the last 12 days. Reliable sources inside China, however, put the actual death count in the thousands.
§ In the last 7 days, torture reports have come in from 16 provinces, including the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Changchun.
§ 1,037 people declared as null and void, statements saying they will give up Falun Gong that were made while undergoing torture as they were the result of extreme coercion. They say they will continue practicing Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
736 Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted to the extreme at China's second largest oil field in Shandong province.
And some of our other stories:
§ Australian government takes steps to deport to China, an elderly Falun Gong couple who have previously been tortured there.
§ Christine Loftus interviews Sterling Campbell, drummer for recording artist David Bowie.
§ 1,000 attend European Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference in Geneva
Incomplete Statistics from the Shengli Oil Field in China, where at least 736 practitioners have been persecuted and illegally fined almost 300,000 Yuan
§ Under very risky conditions, a few practitioners at the Shengli Oil Field in Shandong province have attempted to investigate the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners there. The result is not yet a complete survey, but it demonstrates the enormous scale and the irrational severity of the persecution of workers inside just one enterprise.
§ The names you see on your screen are the names of the 736 people known to have been persecuted at this oil refinery. Innocent people, persecuted for their beliefs by their government, in violation of their country's constitution and intenational human rights treaties that their government has signed.
§ The Shengli Oil Field of the China Petroleum Company is China's second largest oil field. It is situated in Dongying City of Shandong Province, and is made up of more than 40 subsidiary units. A total of 200,000 people work there.
§ In the Level 2 Units where the survey was conducted, it was determined that 1 person was murdered, 3 were illegally sentenced to prison terms, 57 were sent to forced labor camps, 142 were detained without reason, 5 healthy people were forcibly incarcerated in mental institutions, 67 had their homes ransacked, 77 escaped by leaving their homes and families, and 383 were illegally kidnapped, subjected to surveillance, or sent to brainwashing centers.
§ These innocent workers were not only physically abused. They were also illegally fined a total of 292,742 Yuan. The monthly salary for an average Chinese urban worker is about 500 Yuan.
§ If the level 2 units are just one subset of 40, this means that at least 1 out of every six workers at this oil refinery has been persecuted in some way.
§ On March 11th, Associated Press in Beijing, reported that China's top law enforcement officials promised to redouble their efforts to crush Falun Gong activists and others who they say threaten national security and economic progress.
§ If you torture one out of every six of your workers, how can you make economic progress, especially since those are the workers who are doing their best to live up to the standards of truthfulness, kindness and tolerance, the foundation qualities required to be a Falun Gong practitioner?
Global efforts to stop an Australian deportation order to return an elderly Falun Gong couple to China
§ On the morning of March 11, 2003, the Australian government put two elderly Falun Gong practitioners, Mr. Juntau Wang, a retired senior calligrapher, and his wife, Liluan, on a flight to be deported to China.
§ According to the Immigration office in Sydney, Mr. Wang suffered a heart attack before the flight left, and the deportation was rescheduled for the next day.
§ However, as of 5 p.m. March 15, the couple was still being held at the Villarwood Detention Centre in Sydney. Their deportation has been delayed because the Australian government has continuously received phone calls, e-mails, and faxes on this issue from Falun Gong practitioners around the world.
§ Two years ago, in April 2001, Mr. and Mrs. Wang managed to escape from China and went to Australia to live with their son. They applied to the Australian Department of Immigration for refugee status, but were rejected twice. Because of language difficulties and lack of money, the couple did not appeal the second rejection in time, and a deportation order was issued.
§ The Department of Immigration said last week they believed that ordinary Falun Gong practitioners would not be persecuted in China. This completely overlooked the fact that the couple was seeking asylum in Australia because they had already been tortured!
§ Mr. Wang's brother-in-law was tortured to death for practicing Falun Gong.
§ A spokesperson for the Australian Falun Dafa Association, John Deller, stated that Australia has ratified the UN Refugee Convention, and therefore has the international obligation to provide protection to people who meet the UN refugee definition. One key provision of the Convention stipulates that a refugee should not be returned, or refouled, to a country where he or she fears persecution.
§ Shizhong Chen of The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (the FGHRWG) also advised that "Once all domestic remedies have been exhausted, the FGHRWG can file an action with the United Nations Convention Against Torture (the CAT) on behalf of the couple."
§ Australia has also ratified the CAT, which contains an article almost identical to the Refugee Convention in terms of not returning citizens to their homeland if they are likely to face torture.
§ Falun Gong practitioners around the world have expressed confidence that, having been provided with more facts, the Australian government will honor its international obligations and allow Mr. and Mrs. Wang to remain with their son in Australia.
FGMTV's Christine Loftus recently spoke with Sterling Campbell, a long time drummer for popular recording artist David Bowie and a former member of Duran Duran and Soul Asylum.
§ Sterling shared some of his experiences with Falun Gong and the efforts he and the band have made to help bring an end to the persecution in China.
Thanks Christine, thanks Sterling.
One Thousand Practitioners Attend European Experience-Sharing Conference in Geneva
§ The fifth European Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference was successfully held in Geneva on the 16th of March 2003. About a thousand practitioners attended from over 40 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, Canada, and the US. Of the twelve speakers from ten different countries, those from Spain, Israel and Romania were the first from their countries to speak at an international Falun Dafa conference.
§ The 59th annual session of the UN Commission on Human Rights will convene in Geneva on March 17, 2003. Falun Gong practitioners coming from around the world will hold a series of peaceful appeal activities, with the hope that the world will pay attention to, and help stop, the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Earthquake in China
§ In October, 2001 Minghui Net, the Chinese Falun Dafa Web site, received a report saying that brainwashing classes to illegally persecute Falun Gong practitioners were being held in every region of Xinjiang. Most practitioners were tortured, some of them died.
traditions say that good will be rewarded and bad deeds punished. Recently,
according to the official Xinhua News Agency and the Chinese Red Cross at least
266 people died and more than 4,000 were injured in the northwestern edge of
Xinjiang, when an earthquake shook the region. Approximately 9,000 homes were
World Health Organization Issues travel advisory to slow spread of mysterious killer virus
§ The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations, has issued a rare global "emergency travel advisory."
§ The WHO advised that it has received reports of more than 150 cases in the past week of an illness now classified as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Most new cases of the illness are concentrated in Hanoi and Hong Kong.
§ A WHO team is now being assembled in response to a request from the Ministry of Health of China.
§ Chinese authorities have also issued a summary report of what may be the same, or a related disease, that began in Guangdong province in southern China in November, and peaked in mid-February. The Chinese report includes data on more than 300 cases.
§ There is no known cause, and no known treatment. Several people have already died from the atypical pneumonia-like disease.
§ 450 years ago, a Korean scholar and astronomer, Nan Shigu, prophesied that in the Dharma-ending period, thought by many in the Buddha School to be our present time period, there will be a "strange disease" that will destroy many people. So many, that it will even be hard for one out of ten households to survive.
§ His book, Notes by Ge An became very popular in South Korea in the late 1980's.
§ The book also states that a sage named Li will start to teach the Great Tao and exercises in Changchun (a city in northeast China).
§ The founder of Falun Dafa is Mr. Hongzhi Li, and he brought forth the ancient teaching in the city of Changchun in 1992.
Heart Disease cured after practicing Falun Dafa
§ A practitioner in China wrote to us saying, "I used to be very sick. I was often in the hospital, taking medicine, and was generally disabled. Upon examination, the doctor said that my heart only beat 28 times per minute, which was dangerously low.
§ The doctor also told me that this was a sign of late stage heart disease, an incurable condition.
§ Then, without any other hope, my wife and I decided to learn Falun Gong." It was 1998.
§ The next day, I started learning Falun Gong from my granddaughter-in-law, and felt better and better. Since then, my illnesses have gone away without any further medical treatment. Thanks to my practice of Falun Gong, I have been given a second life."
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
See you next week!