Falun Gong stages small demo

South China Morning Post, May 11, 2000
By Chloe Lai

About 30 Falun Gong practitioners openly commemorated the birthday of the group's founder Li Hongzhi in Hong Kong on Thursday.

The local chapter's organiser Belinda Pang rejected a suggestion that the lukewarm response from practitioners showed they disagreed with large-scale protests as in Beijing, saying ''it is a personal decision''.

Most of the people who turned up for the meditation and commemoration in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, were overseas Chinese with only three from Hong Kong.

They marched to Queensway in Admiralty holding banners declaring ''Revealing Truth to the World, Buddha's Law is Here''.

Alice Wong from Sydney, Australia, said: ''I came here to celebrate the birthday of Master Li, and to commemorate his preaching of the Buddha Law for eight years.''

Stephanie Lu from California agreed and neither were disappointed by the lack of local practitioners at the birthday celebration.

It was not the first time many local Falun Gong followers have not turned up to mark a significant date. Last month only about 20 attended a press conference on the first anniversary of Beijing's crackdown of the cult on the mainland.

An international conference to be hold in Hong Kong was also cancelled but Ms Pang said that was purely because they realised it was not necessary as experience may be exchanged through different ways.


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