Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada
180 Wellington St., #145
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Chretien:

I am writing to draw your attention to the alleged plight of 130 Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in Toronto's twin city, Shenyang, in northern China.

These prisoners are apparently engaged in a hunger strike to protest their incarceration at a labour camp known as Masanjia. According to several Toronto-based Falun Gong practitioners who visited my office at City Hall, they are being tortured because they refuse to renounce their beliefs.

I urge you to investigate these allegations during your visit to China next month-and if you find that they are true, I hope there is some way you can ease the suffering of these people. As Martin Luther King (Jr.) once said "One place without justice is a threat to all places with justice."

Please accept my warmest personal regards and best wishes for the coming season.


Mel Lastman