September 15, 2001

JAKARTA (JP): Approximately 40 Indonesian Falun Gong practitioners are conducting a long distance walk to protest against the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

The walk will pass through Wanlong, West Java, and is scheduled to reach their final destination, the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta, next Tuesday.

This activity is called "walk around the world," and its purpose is to call for the public to support Falun Gong. The total distance is about 180 km.

A practitioner named Joko Buntar said, "Every morning we meditate before we depart. We do not display banners nor do we shout slogans."

He added most of the participants were men in their forties.

There were about twenty people when they started on Wednesday, but now the number of people has doubled, as more walkers have joined en route.

Not everyone will complete the whole journey. Joko for example will only take part in the first two days of the walk, as he has another engagement scheduled for Saturday.

No organization is sponsoring the event. All participants take care of their own expenses.

"All we are looking for is moral support. No donations are accepted." Joko stressed.

So far we do not know what reaction there will be to their activity, but Joko said they have gotten plenty of encouragement from passersby on the streets.

There are currently about three thousand Falun Gong practitioners across the country, with most residing in the capital area, according to data provided by the Falun Gong Association in Jakarta.