Sunday, December 16, 2001

Re: China deports Falun Gong protesters, Nov. 22

I was one of the Canadians in Tiananmen Square on Nov. 20. I thank the Citizen for covering my return to Canada and readers for their letters to The editor.

Falun Gong and its principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance are part of Chinese culture. For years the Chinese government respected and awarded Falun Gong for the benefits it brought to individuals and society. In 1999, a survey showed that more than 70 million people in China practised Falun Gong.

The insecure president of China overruled his premier and started a mass state terrorist campaign to defame and "eliminate" Falun Gong practitioners. His new "laws" abet his crimes against humanity and break China's constitution and international human rights treaties it has signed.

To justify his vicious campaign, his propaganda poisons his citizens' minds to think that Falun Gong is persecuted around the world.

Thirty-six people from 15 countries went to China to appeal peacefully, respecting international laws and China's constitution, to show the Chinese president that Falun Gong is not just a Chinese issue.

During the past two years, the peaceful actions of Falun Gong practitioners have won support and respect from millions of citizens and governments around the world, that have joined to protect the essence of freedom and virtue that Falun Gong represents.

The protesters went to stop innocent Chinese people from being persecuted.

China has a lot to offer. However, Canada must base our future relations With China first and foremost on its treatment of human beings. How can we resent any individual who tries to save the lives of others anywhere in the world? If a Canadian travelled to Nazi Germany in 1940 to peacefully appeal for the rights and lives of Jewish people, he would be considered a hero today by his country.

As Canadians, we should be proud of people everywhere who peacefully protect principles of goodness in our world. Together we will make a difference for our future generations.

Joel Chipkar, Toronto