A group of Falun Gong practitioners from various regions met in Edinburgh on Easter weekend. Their purpose was twofold; to make a short presentation to parade spectators about the practice of Falun Gong and to raise public awareness of new information about an almost-unbelievable scale of human-rights violations inside Communist China.
This year, sadly, there was no Princes Street parade, owing to concerns over the cost of security for the event. Nevertheless there were huge crowds for the activities inside Princes Street Gardens. A presentation explaining the principles of Falun Gong was very well-received by the spectators. The information stand attracted a lot of interest, as did a demonstration of lotus-flower folding. The flowers proved extremely popular with the children, who queued-up for samples. One woman asked if she could have a card or goodwill-token of some kind to send to a soldier relative in Iraq. When she saw the "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" label on the flower, she said "Yes, that's perfect!"
At the eastern end of Princes Street was a second information stand, this time dedicated to raising awareness of the recent discovery of concentration camps and organ harvesting inside China.
The parade organisers had expressed their concern that this material was not be displayed in the Gardens for fear of distressing the children present at what was intended to be a 'fun day.' Even so, some adult visitors to the human-rights exhibition were clearly shocked and distressed by the nature of what was revealed and said as much.
The objective was to collect signatures requesting that the UK Government mount an official investigation into the Chinese organ transplant trade.
Some people expressed doubts about the accuracy of the reports, refusing to believe that atrocities of such an extreme kind could be going on today, not even inside a Communist state. When the question of authenticity invariably came up, the background to the reports and that the evidence which was initially scant is now far too strong to ignore was outlined. On this aspect, the BBC have now been drawn to investigate the Chinese human organs trade and the British Transplantation Society have started to ask some searching questions about exactly who and where the vast number of organs exported from China come from a quantity far too great, it would seem to be from any legal or ethical source.
A South American visitor commented that in view of its dreadful human rights record, she was not at all surprised the CCP would do something of this kind. Nevertheless, she added the sheer scale and audacity of the organ harvesting still beggar’s belief. Meanwhile, an Israeli commented on the similarities between the Chinese concentration camps and Auschwitz. Even the inevitable groups of bored teenagers lounging on the street took a serious interest when they saw what it was all about and crowded round to sign the petition.
It was interesting to watch as passers-by took the proffered leaflets and walked-on with an indifferent expression to what was, I suppose, yet another of many street hand outs, only to return a few minutes later, eager to sign the petition. Many offered to write to their M.P expressing their concern over the way in which our own Government chooses to turn a blind-eye to these atrocities in favour of forging relations with the CCP. It became clear that public opinion on this organ harvesting issue is perhaps the strongest seen so far on any Chinese issue since Tiananmen Square.
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