Hello, and welcome to the weekly 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.
§ Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. Its principles are based on being good, true and enduring.
§ 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.
§ One year later, dictator Jiang Zemin 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…
§ 707 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody, with 17 new death reports received in the last 7 days. Reliable sources inside China put the actual total death count in the thousands.
§ Torture reports in the last seven days have come in from 13 different provinces, and the cities of Changchun, Dalian and Shenyang.
§ 791 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:
1,000 Practitioners work together in a Chinese town to expose the lies of the Jiang regime's propaganda
And some of our other stories:
§ A brainwashing center in Hebei province is dismantled and abandoned
§ Falun Dafa at the 6th International Book Fair in Santo Domingo
§ The SARS epidemic in China changes the attitude of labor camp guards towards practitioners
§ Canadian and Australian practitioners invite the world to celebrate the 11th Anniversary of Falun Dafa, and
§ A 90-year-old critically ill man recovers by quietly reciting "Falun Dafa is Good!"
First, our top story:
One Thousand Practitioners Work Together in a Chinese Town to expose the lies of the Jiang regime's propaganda
§ Over the last ten days, MingHui and Clear Wisdom Web sites have been inundated with reports and photographs of happy events that took place all over the world to honour World Falun Dafa Day on May 13th. Some events, like the Vancouver Experience-Sharing Conference, were attended by thousands of people.
§ Such large gatherings of Falun Gong practitioners are no longer allowed in China. In fact, practitioners there are regularly thrown into labor camps and tortured just for giving a Falun Gong flyer to someone.
§ But there are some very courageous practitioners in mainland China and we received a report that around thirty people managed to meet together to hold an experience-sharing conference to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day.
§ At the end of the meeting, they agreed to work together to organize a large-scale activity.
§ Over a thousand practitioners participated, and in the course of one night, hundreds of large banners, truth-clarifying materials, VCDs and stickers appeared everywhere in the streets and roads, on both sides of the road, at the bus station, at the public square, and on walls, trees, and lamp posts.
§ The next morning, loud and clear above the town square, an amplifier broadcast information about the true situation of the persecution of Falun Dafa. Everyone walked out of their homes to listen to the truth, which exposed the lies of the Jiang regime's propaganda.
§ Some police hid in the crowd, not daring to expose their identity.
§ Several days later, most of the banners and stickers are still there.
A Brainwashing Center in Hebei Province is Dismantled and Abandoned
§ "Zhuozhou City Education Transformation Camp," one of the brainwashing centers established to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, was promoted to the status of a so-called "Law Education Camp" because of its efforts.
§ Dafa practitioners from Baoding City and other counties were detained and brutally tortured there with electric batons and force feeding.
§ Retired schoolteacher Xiuqin Zhai from Beima Village of Zhuozhou City was one practitioner who died from such torture.
§ Despite such barbaric treatment, practitioners refused to cooperate with the illegal persecution and strengthened their righteous thoughts. They explained to the staff that the persecution is based on lies and that the Chinese state media are not able to show the real truth, that people in 60 countries around the world happily practice Falun Gong. They were able to show staff VCD programs that had been made in the West.
§ Gradually, diligent practitioners were able to walk out with their dignity intact one after another, and in the end, this "Legal Education Camp" disintegrated on April 20, 2003.
§ All illegally detained Dafa practitioners there were released and all the staff deserted the place and went away.
Falun Dafa at the Sixth International Book Fair in Santo Domingo
We have received the following report from practitioners in the Dominican Republic:
§ During the Sixth International Book Fair, celebrated in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from the 24th of April to the 5th of May, Falun Dafa practitioners hosted an exhibition booth and handed out a great number of introductory flyers and newspapers.
§ Many people approached us to learn more about this practice. Many of the visitors wished to learn the exercises.
§ Unfortunately, FGMTV didn't have a camera person there, but a practitioner reported the following conversation with a visitor who asked, "What is this practice about?"
The practitioner replied: "This is a practice based on principles and exercises. The principles are: "Truthfulness - Compassion - Tolerance." I explained to him that he was looking at the symbol of a Falun.
Visitor: But you practice Taoism? I see the symbols of Taiji.
Practitioner: I explained to him about the principles that make up the Tao School as well as those of the Buddha School. I added that we practice a system that integrates all three principles.
Visitor: So this is a microcosm of the universe!
Practitioner: Yes, these principles truly summarize the universe and its evolution.
Later we showed the video "Return to our original true self", and one of the visitors said, "Wow! How beautiful and harmonious these exercises are!" When seeing the amount of people around the world and in China who practice, and the many recognitions given to the practice, the visitor looked towards the horizon and in a low voice said, "It's as if people had been waiting for this!"
SARS Epidemic in China changes the attitude of labor camp guards towards practitioners
§ Falun Dafa practitioners in Beijing have advised that at the Tuanhe Labor Camp, people are very busy trying to prevent and treat SARS. The police have completely changed their attitude towards Falun Dafa practitioners, and no longer mention "transforming" those who have been detained for their spiritual beliefs.
§ Falun Dafa practitioners around the world are using the facts about the SARS epidemic to expose the lies of the Jiang regime.
§ Information from outside China, such as news about the lawsuits in seven countries suing Jiang Zemin for genocide and crimes against humanity, and The Founding Statement of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, and phone calls are flowing non-stop to officials, and to the police, especially to those who have tortured Dafa disciples.
§ Beijing practitioners say that because of all this new information, people are no longer willing to cooperate with the regime.
Canadian Practitioners Invite the World to Celebrate in Vancouver and Victoria
§ Almost 2,000 practitioners from around the world met in Vancouver for the annual Canadian Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference on the weekend of May 19th.
§ Teacher Li Hongzhi came and addressed the conference for about one hour.
§ However, Falun Dafa conferences are not just about sitting in large venues. Practitioners took the opportunity to practice the exercises together,
§ to celebrate greetings from nearby communities, like Port Moody
§ and to share some of the beauty of Chinese culture with a colorful parade and traditional dances, finishing with a loud affirmation that "Falun Dafa is Good", or in Chinese, "Falun Dafa Hao!"
Father & Son Die from torture in Chinese labor camp
§ Of the 17 death reports of Falun Gong practitioners received last week, two were members of the same family, a father and son.
§ 65-year-old Mr. Zuanfu Zhang was beaten to death in a Chinese forced labour camp. His 38-year-old son Qifa Zhang died 16 days later from sustained torture in the same camp.
§ At the time of his father's death, Qifa was also in critical condition. The skin all over his body was discolored and covered with scars, boils and bruises. His legs were so badly injured he could not walk. He also had difficulty breathing.
§ The deaths of Mr. Zhang and his son came after three years of detention, harassment and torture.
§ Their crime? They travelled to Beijing to peacefully appeal to authorities to end the persecution of Falun Gong.
Celebration in Melbourne, Australia
§ On Saturday May the 17th to mark the end of the week-long world wide events for Falun Dafa's 11th anniversary, practitioners in Melbourne Australia celebrated by the banks of the Yarra River. They performed traditional Chinese Dances – on land and on the river – and gave an exhibition of the Falun Dafa Exercises. The day was a huge success, since many Melbournians were entertained while visiting the popular Southbank venue.
§ (Melbourne practitioner: "Today, we are here to commemmorate all those who have lost their lives in the persecution. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice, while quietly imprisoning, torturing, and even murdering those who practice it.")
§ As the sun was setting practitioners scattered hundreds of white chrysanthemums onto the river's surface and watched in silence as the flowers floated gently away. This was a symbolic gesture in remembrance of the many who have died under the persecution of the practice in China, for refusing to denounce their belief in Falun Dafa. Melbourne practitioners said they will remember the courage and strength of those who died, and will continue to raise awareness of the Persecution so the deaths will not be in vain.
A Ninety-Year-Old Man Who Was Critically Ill Recovers by Quietly Reciting "Falun Dafa is Good"
§ A practitioner from Toronto wrote to tell us that on the first day of the 2003 Chinese New Year, she called home to wish her father a happy ninetieth birthday.
§ As it turned out, he had been sick and bed-ridden, had not had any food or water for ten days, was drifting in and out of consciousness, and his life was being sustained by intravenous injections. Everyone in the family was busy preparing for his funeral.
§ She wrote, "At that time, I remembered Teacher [Li Hongzhi] had said that if a person's mind is filled with Dafa, hell will not dare to accept this person.
§ So I told my family members to show a piece of paper with the writing of "Falun Dafa is Good" to my father whenever he was conscious. They did what I told them. Whenever my father gained consciousness, they showed him that piece of paper while giving a thumbs-up.
§ My father understood and nodded. By then all the medical treatment had stopped. My father, however, regained his spirit after only one day.
§ Slowly he was able to sit up, and then he was able to eat. After experiencing these miraculous changes, day and night, my father started to quietly recite, "Falun Dafa is good."
§ A few days later he had recovered completely, a rosy color returned to his face, and he was eating more than a young person. He was very happy and said, "Falun Dafa is wonderful! I can now live to be a hundred years old. From now on, I will start to practice Falun Gong myself."
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!