"I strongly suspect that this was staged entirely for the tricking of CNN and outside media"
CNN has reported this as "Falun Gong members set selves on fire". I have filed an "error" report with CNN already, to note their slip.
The only identification of the burned people with Falun Gong was made directly and solely by Xinhua. That agency, as is well known through its past activity, is less than trustworthy in its journalism on matters considered "politically interesting" in China.
Your headline presumes that the people engulfed are indeed Falun Gong members. Your crew had no such evidence; the only connection comes from Xinhua, which is known for falsifications and inventions when it comes to Falun Gong and other "politically sensitive" topics.
Have you ever put out fires? I have. In a standard module in community emergency response training, I and dozens of others put out gasoline fires of human size. It takes two seconds. It doesn't take much longer (5-30 seconds) to extinguish a blaze on a person, from my experience with smaller emergencies.
In the past weeks, the police and irregular auxiliaries at Tiananmen have shown minute and sub-minute response in pulling down and beating actively evasive people.
If it takes many minutes to reach and put out fire on five immobile people, I can only come to the conclusion that the response was intentionally delayed. Given leaks from the Chinese Public Security Bureau and elsewhere in the past months, indicating active brainstorming on ways to frame up situations to make Falun Gong members appear insane, I strongly suspect that this was staged entirely for the tricking of CNN and outside media.
Falun Gong practitioners emphasize compassion. There is no compassion in suicide, since this does not allow for any possible correction by other parties. Suicide does not solve any situation; Falun Gong practitioners seek non-violent resolution of the current unconstitutional situation imposed on China by portions of the current Chinese administration.
Category: Opinion & Perspective