(Minghui.org) The director of the British Falun Dafa Association received a letter from the British Prime Minister’s Office on April 19, 2023. The letter was a reply to his invitation to the Prime Minister to attend the Association’s rally to mark the anniversary of the April 25 Appeal in which ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully petitioned in Beijing in 1999.
The letter reads: “Being an advocate for world peace, the Prime Minister appreciates the time you have taken to extend your kind gesture. It is a commendable achievement for the Falun Gong practitioners to uphold their practice in such a way and I would like to extend my congratulations for their peaceful appeal to have reached 24 years.”
The current British Prime Minister is Rishi Sunak, the leader of the British Conservative Party. He is the first British citizen of Asian descent and Hindu faith to be prime minister in British history. He is also the first non-Caucasian prime minister. When he took office on October 25, 2022, he was 42 years old, making him the youngest British prime minister in 200 years.
Background: What Is the April 25 Appeal?
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries worldwide. Millions of people have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance as well as five gentle exercises—and experienced improved health and well-being.
On April 23 and 24, 1999, police officials in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, assaulted and arrested dozens of practitioners who had gathered outside a magazine office to discuss errors in a recently-published article attacking Falun Dafa. As word spread of the arrests and more practitioners inquired with officials, they were told they had to take their appeal to Beijing.
The following day, April 25, some 10,000 Falun Dafa practitioners spontaneously gathered at the Central Appeals office in Beijing, as they had been instructed by Tianjin officials. The gathering was peaceful and orderly. Several Falun Dafa representatives were called in to meet with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and members of his staff. That evening, the practitioners' concerns were answered, the arrested practitioners in Tianjin were released, and everyone went home.
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