[Minghui Net] Sponsored by the French Green Party, the Chairman of the East Asia Freedom Observers held a human-rights-related symposium in the French National Legislative Assembly on February 5, 2001. The purpose of this meeting was to let more people know about Falun Gong and to study the situation of Falun Gong in China.

A Sinologist (person that studies the Chinese culture), news reporters, representatives from: Chinese organizations, Vietnamese organizations, Tibetan organizations, and more than 100 Falun Gong practitioners attended the meeting.

After the Chairman of the East Asia Freedom Observers briefly announced the agenda, five speakers, including two Falun Gong practitioners, expressed their perspective on Falun Gong issues.

1. A famous Sinologist gave a brief introduction regarding the major incidents during Falun Gong's development as well as its current situation in China.

2. A Chinese democratic-movement figure, now residing in France, stated his views of Falun Gong after his contact with Falun Gong practitioners. He appealed to the audience to pay attention to the corruption and degeneration in China. He reminded everyone that the persecution of Falun Gong in China is irrational, and that its motives cannot be understood with logical thinking.

3. A western practitioner gave a general presentation on the origin of Falun Gong, the five sets of exercises, and the message it conveys.

4. A Chinese practitioner talked about the cause of several major events before the persecution started and the approaches used in the brutal persecution. He stressed that the Chinese government slandered Falun Gong to make its persecution seem logical and reasonable, which is their consistent approach.

At the end, to give equal opportunity to all representatives at the meeting, the host arranged to have a French newspaper reporter living in China express her own opinions with a contrary point of view.

After the five speakers finished their speeches, the meeting participants talked and asked questions for about an hour. Most people gained a positive understanding of Falun Gong. A non-practitioner at the meeting replied directly to the French newspaper reporter who found fault with Master Li Hongzhi. He said that he read Zhuan Falun carefully, although he could not understand everything, the book showed no hatred at all. He believed that its peaceful strength has frightened the Chinese government, and thus was not able to be accepted. As matter of fact, he felt that those who persecuted Falun Gong were irrational.

One meeting participant wanted to know more about the "self-immolation" that recently happened in Tiananmen Square. A Falun Gong practitioner explained that the teachings of Falun Gong require practitioners to never kill (nor commit suicide), and also pointed out that there were a lot doubts about the reports from the Chinese officials. A Sinologist said that an immolation described in the novel Huang Huo has surprising similarities to the incident that recently happened in Tiananmen Square, which makes one think deeply about this issue.

This symposium left a positive and strong impression to all participants during and after the meeting. Most people said that they were not only moved by the brutal persecution that the Chinese practitioners were facing, but were also moved by the effects Falun Gong have brought or may bring.

The meeting host announced to all participants that similar activities would be held again in the future.

(Reported by French Practitioner on February 8, 2001)