"Validate the Fa with reason, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and offer people salvation with benevolence" (Rationality)
Two Facts Tell the Whole Story
-- An American Practitioner's View of the Self-Immolation
Since the tragic scene on Tienanmen square a couple of weeks ago, there have been many theories, opinions, accusations, and reports, both fair and unfair. The Chinese government claims that these poor people are Falun Gong practitioners, while Falun Gong groups and individual practitioners have said that these people's actions were not in keeping with Li Hongzhi's teachings, and that they are not practitioners. There is even some evidence that the incident was staged by the Chinese government for the express purpose of defaming Falun Gong. With the Chinese government blocking all information relative to the story, it has been impossible for any third party to conduct an investigation, or even interview the victims. Thus, proven facts have been difficult to come by.
In this mess of disinformation and confusion, there are a couple of obvious, irrefutable facts that point out the true nature of this incident.
First, for the better part of 2 years now, the Chinese government has relentlessly attacked Falun Gong and its practitioners. This fact cannot be denied. The suppression of Falun Gong has been reported by many western media outlets (AP, AFP, Reuters, NY Times, Washington Post etc.); witnessed by several American tourists, thousands of Chinese citizens, and at least one Australian government official; and even reported in the form of videos and photographs posted on the internet in the public domain. There is irrefutable proof that the suppression of Falun Gong and its practitioners has been severe and on a very large scale. The Chinese government itself has even admitted to jailing practitioners and sending them to labor camps.
Secondly, the actions of Falun Dafa practitioners over the nearly 2 years of persecution have remained completely peaceful. Throughout the thousands upon thousands of protests in Tienanmen square and in cities, counties, and provinces across China, not a single case of violence has been reported. These courageous practitioners hold themselves to the strictest standards of truth-compassion-forbearance, and appeal peacefully despite the treatment they receive. Many, many eyewitness accounts and media reports also attest to this fact.
With these facts in mind, let's look briefly at the self-immolation incident.
The actions of the victims in this case were completely out of line with the actions of the thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners who have heretofore appealed at the square. The goal of protesting at the square is to validate Falun Dafa, and to tell people the truth the truth about the practice and the suppression of it. To these ends, most of the protests have taken the form of raising banners saying "Falun Dafa is good" (or something similar), performing the Falun Gong exercises, distributing flyers reveal tell the truth, or simply shouting out that Falun Dafa is good. When these people set themselves alight, it did nothing to tell people the truth, and was far from doing any good for Falun Gong. Their actions were clearly not motivated by a desire to let people know the truth. From observing their protest, it is obvious that nothing they did on Tienanmen square was directly related to Falun Gong.
Given such a tragic and bizarre incident, is it any wonder that the government, frustrated by its inability to eradicate the practice, called these people Falun Gong practitioners? Personally, I would have been very surprised if they had not.
These two facts tell the whole story. It doesn't take too much deduction to see that, whether or not the event was staged, it is just another case of the Chinese government jumping at an opportunity to attack Falun Gong.