Time: January 19, 2001
Place: Toronto Renan Pharmacy (owned by Mr. Lin Li)
Visitor: Toronto Dafa practitioner Li Zishu
I wondered why the Toronto Chinese Association would hold a forum to "Expose and Criticize Falun Gong" so I decided to visit the person in charge, Mr. Lin Li, who is the owner of Renan Pharmacy, to see just how much he knows about Falun Gong. But upon my arrival, three Dafa practitioners, who were on the way out of this pharmacy, told me that an older gentleman sitting inside had informed them that Mr. Lin Li was not there.
I was perplexed since the old gentleman was Mr. Lin Li, himself, yet he was denying his presence in his own shop! I reasoned that such a statement would bring bad luck, since it was right before the Chinese New Year. So, I tried to prevent Mr. Lin from making such a bizarre remark by mentioning my deceased father who had been a classmate of his. Here's the ensuing conversation:
Li: Uncle Li (I often called him this way when I was little), Happy New Year!
Lin: Happy New Year! (Very alert and on guard)
Li: I am the son of Mr. XXX, do you remember me?
Lin: Long time no see, I don't remember you anymore.
... After I reminded him about my father's past donations and other good deeds to the Chinese community, he finally warmed up to me. At the very least, I concluded, he wouldn't deny his own existence. After exchanging pleasantries, I changed to the main subject:
Li: Uncle Li, I hear that you and others are going to hold a forum to "expose and criticize" Falun Gong?
Lin: (His attitude suddenly became serious, and took a while before asking) Do you practice Falun Gong, too?
Li: (Countering with a question) Have you ever read Falun Gong books?
Lin: (His head facing down, twiddling his hands and avoiding direct eye contact with me, asked again) You are also a Falun Gong practitioner, aren't you?
Li: Yes, I also practice Falun Gong!
Lin: Canada is a free society and everyone has the right to speak out.
Li: Canada is also a society ruled by law. Each person must be responsible about his own statement. One should be factual.
Lin: Even though I do not know much about Falun Gong, perhaps someone else attending the forum will understand Falun Gong. Let them talk about it.
(Note: In the forum, it turned out that Mr. Lin Li was the first person who spoke out "criticizing" Falun Gong. A person who had absolutely no knowledge about Falun Gong yet criticizes Falun Gong? Isn't this pure rubbish and outright slander?)
Li: Will your forum be open to the public?
Li: All right then, I will attend the forum, too.
Lin: Of course, it is open to the public and everybody is welcome!
Li: Then I will ask for you when I get there.
Lin: No, you don't need to ask for me, just go right in.
The second day I arrived at the forum on time, but ended up being blocked outside like many other people. The reason given to us was that it was a private meeting being held on private property and one could only attend the forum with the escort of association members. Yet, based on advertisements in several newspapers and Mr. Lin himself that was not the case!
As experienced by a Canadian practitioner,
January 26, 2001