Australia: Petals of Peace Initiative Launched in Queensland

Practitioners in Queensland officially launched the Petals of Peace initiative in Brisbane and the Gold Coast on the 4th and 5th of October. Jane Dai and her 3 year-old daughter, Fadu, flew up from Melbourne to take part in these activities. Fadu, whose father was killed in the persecution of Falun Gong in China in 2001, is Australia's ambassador for this project.

Many practitioners gathered at King George Square in front of Town Hall for the official Brisbane launch. "Petals of Peace" symbolises the hope of all the children who are suffering during the on-going genocide of Falun Gong in China. This project is aimed at schools and community organisations to bring to life for the children, as well as their parents and teachers, the principles of Falun Gong - Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance - and how practitioners in China who follow these virtuous values are being brutally persecuted.

Petals of Peace highlights the plight of the thousands of children in China who, like Fadu, have lost parents to the persecution, or whose parents are incarcerated and are unable to see or take care of their children, as well as the millions of children who are forced to write statements against Falun Gong in their schools. Children all over the world will be encouraged to learn how to make origami paper lotuses to help raise awareness about the suffering of these most innocent and vulnerable victims. Every flower is a symbol of hope that this unjust persecution will come to an end.

Learning to make lotus flowers (Brisbane)
Opening Ceremony (Brisbane)
Part of the large crowd (Brisbane)

Lotus Dance (Brisbane)
Part of the crowd (Gold Coast)

For the Brisbane launch, partition boards with Journey of Falun Dafa photos and persecution photos were set up, along with a gazebo and information tables and tables for people to learn how to make paper origami lotus flowers. Large numbers of people were on the square, including tourists from Mainland China. Many of them took photos and movies and many accepted handouts. There was a steady stream of children and adults learning how to fold paper lotus flowers and they were all interested in learning more about Falun Gong and the persecution.

The Queensland spokesperson for Falun Gong opened the launch, explaining the Petals of Peace initiative and briefly telling about Jane Dai and Fadu. Then Jane and Fadu told their own tragic story about the death of Fadu's father simply because he followed Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance and how this has impacted their family. They have travelled to 35 countries to tell their story and Jane is a plaintiff in lawsuits against former president of China, Jiang Zemin, for Genocide and crimes against humanity. Many people were deeply moved by this heart-rending story. The activity ended with several practitioners performing the Lotus Dance to the enjoyment of all present.

Four University of Queensland journalism students, who are doing an in-depth story on Falun Gong, filmed the entire event and did a lengthy interview with Jane and Fadu. One of these students is from Norway and hopes to take this story back and have it published.

On Sunday, a similar event was held at Cascade Gardens on the Gold Coast. This is home to the first practice site in Queensland and always has many people present on a Sunday. While most practitioners performed the exercises, others set up a similar display to the one in Brisbane. Again, many people came to learn how to fold paper lotuses and then attend our launch. One addition to this program was the practitioner singers who have written and performed numerous songs around Australia. Four of the five singers performed two of their songs, including A Call to Heart, and were warmly received.

As schools around Queensland get back from holidays this coming week, practitioners will begin taking this project into as many schools as possible to bring the beauty of Falun Gong to students, parents and teachers, to tell them of the tragedy of the persecution against Falun Gong in China and to help them actively participate in making paper lotus flowers as symbols of hope.

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