Human Rights Are Not Negotiable

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Due to the pressure from the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, the Toronto city council recently rejected a motion to declare May 13 as Falun Dafa Day. According to a report in the Toronto Star, Councilor Michael Walker said after the vote: "In this case, human rights was susceptible to lobbying by the government of China, which said we might hurt our economic activities with the country of China. I don't think human rights are negotiable."

The report also stated "International human rights groups have condemned the government of China for its clampdown --including imprisonment and torture -- on Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong."

It was also reported that acting council chair Deputy Mayor Sandra Bussin ruled it was proper for the council to address this type of proclamation motion, even though some councilors insisted that it was beyond the council's jurisdiction.

In the end, the Star stated, "A brief confrontation ensued in the council chamber between Falun Dafa supporters and National Congress of Chinese-Canadians members." However, this incident deserves our closer attention. Recently, China had used a similar strategy--commercial interest--to successfully pass a "No-Action" motion in the UN on China's poor human rights record. When we criticise some governments for being so shortsighted and casting a blind eye on China's human rights atrocities, perhaps this kind of thing is just taking place in our backyard.

Since the Jiang regime launched the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, it has used China's embassies and consulates around the world to export its defamations and lies to all nations. On February 9, 2004, the Ottawa Citizen reported an unfair treatment that Falun Gong had received. In the article entitled, "Falun Gong Spurned", the Citizen said: "There were Christian and Buddhist groups at The Great Light of the Chinese New Year festival, yet Falun Gong practitioners were spurned. The Chinese government's ban on Falun Gong continues to have a serious impact on Canadians who take our democratic rights for granted. The Canadian government does not perceive Falun Gong as a political threat, yet we tolerate the Chinese government's interference in Canada."

The Ottawa Citizen also pointed out that the organisers of the event, Canada Zhong Guo Ren Association and Canada Western-China International Development Association, had smeared multi-culturalism in Canada, and all politicians who support this event should hold them accountable and demand that the dignity of Canadian law be restored.

According reports from, similar interference cases have occurred in many countries. At the beginning of this year, for example, Paris city authorities organised a Chinese New Year parade for Chinese residents on Avenue des Champs Elysees and invited the Beijing government to assist in holding the celebrations. It was a public and Chinese-culture-related activity. However, an inharmonious atmosphere arose from the applications of various groups participating in the parade. Falun Gong is a group that is legally registered in France and had the right to participate. However, the Falun Gong's application was illegally interfered with by the Chinese Embassy. For slandering Falun Gong practitioners in a Canadian newspaper, the Chinese deputy consul general in Toronto, Pan Xinchun, was found guilty of libel by an Ontario Superior Court of Justice on February 3, 2004.

Through Chinese embassies and consulates around the world as well those pro-communist groups under their control, the Jiang group has exported their persecution of Falun Gong to all overseas Chinese communities. Their illegal conduct in foreign countries that have interfered their own citizens' civil rights should also be stopped.

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