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 Zhen, Shan, Ren - being true, good, and enduring, which is also translated as 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.
§ One year later, dictator Jiang Zemin began a brutal persecution that violates not only the Chinese constitution, but also international treaties signed by China.
Our top story this week:
Government officials issue 40 proclamations to celebrate Falun Dafa Week in Los Angeles County, California
§ Citizens in the USA have always treasured spiritual freedom, and on the afternoon of August 16, 2003 more than seventy of them crowded into the Los Angeles Public Library to celebrate the fastest growing spiritual practice in the world today, Falun Dafa.
§ Mayor Jeff Prang of West Hollywood was the keynote speaker. In praising the foundation principles Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance, he said if there were no such magnificent principles, our world would have become ruthless and chaotic with no happiness or hope of living.
§ In his address to the audience, Mayor Prang said that voices of justice "shall be raised from every corner of the world, including this city, to condemn the persecution against millions of innocent people who follow these principles."
§ He expressed his belief that this event was held not only for Falun Gong but also for the freedom of human beings, and said he hoped that one day, the bell of freedom would sound everywhere in the world.
§ He then called on Chinese authorities to learn about and treat Falun Gong with an open and tolerant mind, because, he said, the current persecution based on deception cannot be sustained and people will eventually find out the truth.
§ To support American Falun Gong practitioner, Dr. Charles Li, who is currently illegally imprisoned by the Chinese government, Mayor Prang signed a petition letter and accepted a special interview with New Tang Dynasty TV station.
§ A musical performance and demonstration of the Falun Gong exercises were included in the program and some local residents seized the opportunity to experience the great energy for themselves.
A Twisted Tale from a Chinese Labor Camp
§ The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China has reached a new twisted "high" with Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp in Hebei Province being honored and given first place for torture.
§ TV crews from the province's stations have often been invited to the camp to conduct interviews with prison guards to learn of their barbaric methods.
§ Audiences are not allowed to see the guards in action, but practitioners advise that as well as being kicked, and beaten with high voltage electric batons for hours, their mouths have been stuffed with recently soiled sanitary napkins and some on hunger strike have been force fed with watered down human feces.
§ The good news in this tale of atrocity is that a French criminal court has begun legal proceedings in a lawsuit charging the former Vice-Prime Minister of China, Mr. Lanqing Li, with crimes of torture.
§ Lanqing Li was head of the 6-10 Office in China – a Gestapo-like agency created by former president Jiang Zemin to enforce Jiang's policies to "eradicate" Falun Gong in Gaoyang and across China.
§ Judges hearing similar lawsuits in New York and San Francisco against other Chinese authorities have ruled in favour of Falun Gong.
§ And on the other side of the world, for the second year, Falun Gong practitioners have won First Prize in the Community category in Scotland's annual Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade.
§ In last week's news, we showed you photographs of practitioners playing waist drums in various parades around the world. Those drummers were just part of the Falun Gong entry in Edinburgh. Spectators also enthusiastically greeted traditional Chinese dancers and a colourful float.
§ When accepting the silver cup prize, the practitioner thanked "the people of Edinburgh and the world who supported them during this event. Winning this prize for the second year in a row truly shows Falun Gong's popularity in western society. This heartfelt support creates a stark contrast to the campaign of genocide and propaganda that Jiang Zemin has used to turn people against Falun Gong in China, where people who practice are not rewarded but are tortured, raped, beaten and murdered. We hope that through winning this award, we can allow more people to learn the truth about Falun Gong and see through Jiang's wicked lies."
§ Many newspapers, including the country's famous "The Scotsman" featured the award-winning parade entry on their front pages.
§ Moving now to Geneva, where the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights met in early August.
§ The theme of the 55th session of this sub-commission was "Women and Human Rights". Last on the program was a speech by a Falun Gong practitioner who had been tortured in a Chinese labor camp for refusing to give up her beliefs.
§ Some attendees who had been ready to leave as the speech began quietly resumed their seats to listen with admiration and respect for her story. They crowded around her afterwards asking for copies of the speech and expressed their support for four years of worldwide peaceful and rational appeals in the face of brutal persecution in China.
Building up Endurance!
§ Falun Gong's core principles are Zhen Shan Ren, which translate as Truth, Goodness or Compassion, and Tolerance or Endurance.
§ Practitioners in Boston recently tested their capacity for endurance during the local Chinese community's Mid-Autumn Festival, by continuing to do their exercises in the rain . . . outside the Rainbow Restaurant!
§ Members of Yale University's Falun Gong club did their best to herald a real rainbow by chasing away the downpour with their "Flying Colorful Clouds" dance. Their efforts were really appreciated by an audience that stayed to watch and get wet, rather than miss the opportunity to see such beauty in motion.
§ Undeterred by the inclement weather, passers by crowded round the Falun Gong booth to learn more about the practice and the persecution.
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!