After the persecution of Falun Gong started on July 20, 1999, during the term of Bo Xilai, governor of Liaoning Province from 2001 to 2004, there was a dispute between the Pulandian City government and residents, none of whom were practitioners, over the forced relocation of some of its citizens. Pulandian City is located within Dalian City, Liaoning Province. Subsequently a tragic incident occurred when a Pulandian resident, surname Luo, protested the unreasonable relocation by setting himself on fire. Facing a public uproar that would not subside, the Pulandian City government attributed the self-immolation to Falun Gong. This was done to cover-up the government's illegal actions in the forced relocation and to redirect the people's anger. The officials also used it as an excuse to escalate the persecution of Falun Gong.
The following are the facts about this incident as corroborated by Pulandian residents who are aware of the true situation:
The older brother of Pulandian City's former mayor, Yu Peihong, is a real estate developer. He wanted to purchase some land where residential homes were located to develop a project. When they relocated the families from the site, there were three families that refused to be relocated because the compensation was unreasonable. One day officials from the police department, the procuratorate and the court (the three branches of China's legal system) showed up together to demolish their houses.
One resident, named Luo (not a Dafa practitioner), carried a bottle of gasoline to the top of his house, saying: "If anyone dares to touch my house, I will burn myself with gasoline." Many people came to watch, including all the legal departments' personnel, but they didn't attempt to stop him. On the contrary, they goaded him on saying: "Who are you trying to scare! If you dare to burn yourself, show us how!" Under the pressure of such irresponsible chiding, Luo poured gasoline on himself, ignited it, and burned himself to death.
Nobody from the police department, procuratorate or court tried to put out the fire. Looking at their loved one who had just died in flames, Luo's family refused to remain silent. They hung the scorched body on the house and would not let public security, the Procurator or the judicial departments' clerks remove it. Dozens of Luo's family and friends paraded in the street with a large sign "This incident should not have occurred!"
The commotion grew bigger and bigger. Luo's family went to Beijing to appeal, so the Party's Central Committee questioned Governor Bo Xilai. Bo Xilai, called and spoke with the Pulandian City Mayor Yu Peihong. Yu Peihong said: "It's a Falun Gong self-immolation!" He then ordered the police department to handle the situation. The police department found Luo's older brother, who once worked for the police department and was later fired or laid off. They asked him if he would remove the body from the house and sign an affidavit attesting that this was a Falun Gong self-immolation. They told him that if he did, they would compensate him for his financial loss, which included: reinstating his employment in the police department and giving him and Lou's family each a house, and several hundred thousand yuan. After the older brother signed the agreement, he took down the body, but the police department didn't pay the cash or provide the homes as promised. Then the Pulandian City government broadcast on local TV that this incident was a Falun Gong self-immolation.
However, the local people all know the truth of the matter. They know that saying the self-immolation had something to do with Falun Gong is false.
May 2, 2005