Tuesday, September 2, 2003

La Crosse Tribune


FALUN DAFA: Being a mayor is a multi-faceted job, as proven again last Thursday when a Falun Dafa practitioner knocked on his door to ask for his signature on a petition to ask the U.S. government to call for the release of Charles Li, a fellow practitioner jailed in China.

Medinger signed the petition, which will go to President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell. The practitioner, John Nania of Minneapolis, was taking it to a Friday meeting in Chicago.

Falun Dafa is a way to improve the body, mind, and spirit through exercise, meditations and teachings rooted in ancient Chinese culture, according to a Falun Dafa journal called "Compassion." Its main principles are truth, compassion and tolerance.

The Chinese government has persecuted people for practicing Falun Dafa, according to the journal, which shows photos of people who have been tortured.

Li, a doctor and U.S. citizen from California, was arrested upon his arrival in China on Jan. 22, 2003, and on March 21 was sentenced to three years in prison for "suspicion of planning" to expose human rights violations against practitioners by using television. Fellow practitioners calling for his release say he has been tortured while in prison.

For more information on the practice and the situation in China, see the group's Web site at www.falundafa.org.