(Minghui.org) I recently read an article on the English Minghui website titled: “An Open Letter to the People of Shanghai

The article describes the persecution of a brave Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Bai Gendi, who lost her life after enduring years of torture and imprisonment for her belief.

On this Christmas Day 2017, I am inspired to respond to this article “to the people of Shanghai” and humbly let practitioners there know that the world is aware of your plight, and to let you know that the world is busy taking action, and not idly standing by during your tribulation.

Practitioners here have been diligently collecting petition signatures during 2017 throughout the counties and cities of Ireland. This has been an ongoing part of our practice for many years.

A team of practitioners here commenced what we call the Council Project in September 2016, and it continued throughout 2017. In essence, our plan was to get in touch with every elected councilor, in every county and city council in Ireland, 31 councils in all. The county and city councils are close to and work directly with the grassroots of Irish society. The objective of this project was to talk to each one of them about Falun Gong and the ongoing persecution in China, and to ask them to table a motion to condemn the persecution and the Chinese regime’s practice of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and others.

In itself this is a major project and we have had many successes. Each county and city council is a story in itself. We plan to submit to the Minghui website a comprehensive report on the Council Project, when complete.

However, because of the unwavering bravery of Falun Gong practitioners in Shanghai, and in particular Ms. Bai Gendi, I would like to let you know about the success of our mission with two of those councils that is of direct interest and relevance to you.

Cork is the third largest city in Ireland. It is situated in Cork County, which is the largest county in Ireland. They have two separate councils, a city and a county council. The people of Shanghai may be aware that Cork and Shanghai have been Sister Cities since 2005.

Practitioners went on two car tours through Cork during 2016. The first was a pre-announced tour to teach the Falun Gong exercises to the public. The second was a car tour to collect petitions in the city and clarify the facts to the people there. Beginning in January of 2017 we began clarifying the facts to all 31 of the councilors in the Cork City Council. We asked the councilors to table a motion to reflect the moral stand taken by the people of Cork on these serious issues.

That motion was tabled and subsequently passed unanimously by the Cork City Council this last January. Support for the motion crossed all party lines and was tabled and passed without hesitation.

We clarified the facts to all 55 councilors in the Cork County Council in April, May, and June 2017. There were some logistical delays in tabling the motion, but the councilors were all moved and concerned about the live organ harvesting and the plight of Falun Gong practitioners and others in China, and were eager to proceed with tabling the motion. This was an intriguing situation because the motion was tabled by an atheist. Before the vote, the facts were clarified to all councilors. There was total cross-party support for the motion. The Cork County Council unanimously passed the motion on June 12, 2017. The council in turn volunteered to voice the views of the people of Cork to a visiting business delegation from Shanghai.

Below is the wording of the motion that was tabled and unanimously passed by both the Cork City Council and the Cork County Council.

The following Motion is respectfully sought from Cork City Council:

To call on the Irish government to ratify, as soon as possible, The Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs which was adopted by the Council of Europe on 9 July 2014 in order to criminalize illegal organ transplantations[1]. The Irish Government has already signed this convention, but is yet to ratify it.

To call on the *Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee to follow through on the pledge made by the Oireachtas Sub Committee on Human Rights to “investigate to the maximum extent possible”[2], persistent, credible reports of forced organ harvesting and other severe human rights abuses imposed on Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China

To call on the Chinese government to end its practice of forced live organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. And release all illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners in China.

* Oireachtas is the Irish word for Parliament

Arising from the nationwide success of the Council Project, the Irish Government is currently drafting legislation that will enable it to ratify the European Convention Against Trafficking in Human Organs, and ban organ tourism from Ireland. And on July 6, the Irish Parliamentary, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defense invited a distinguished panel of International and Irish, legal and medical specialists for a hearing, to take evidence on the barbaric practice of forced live organ harvesting in China of Falun Gong practitioners.

The Chinese and Irish peoples have been friends forever and nothing will change that. The Council Project is pro-Chinese.