Toronto, Canada: Nearly 2,000 People Attend the Fourth New Year's Celebration Sponsored by Falun Dafa Practitioners

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On the evening of January 12, 2005, Falun Gong practitioners in Toronto, Canada held the fourth New Year's Celebration Party in the City of Saint Lawrence. Nearly 2,000 Chinese and Western guests attended the celebration. They enjoyed an evening meal prepared by Falun Gong practitioners while watching the performances.

George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long Term Care for Ontario, attends and addresses the party Guests enthusiastically signing the petition in support of Falun Gong

The last program of the party - "Falun Dafa is Good"

The celebration started with a rousing Lion Dance. Then, young girls from Lotus Flower Art Troupe performed elegant dances. Little practitioners from Minghui School demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. The innocent and lovely children and their beautiful and peaceful exercise demonstration won rounds of warm applause. The top ten news stories about Falun Gong in the year 2004, including the many lawsuits filed around the world against Jiang Zemin, were also broadcast during the party.

Several government officials and community leaders especially came to express their support and congratulations. Minister of Health and Long Term Care for Ontario, Mr. George Smitherman, said in his speech that this was the third time that he joined Falun Gong practitioners' New Year's celebration. He wished Falun Gong practitioners a wonderful New Year in their cultivation practice of mind and body. Mr. Smitherman also expressed that he would continue to urge the Canadian government to pressure the Chinese government to return freedom and human rights to Falun Gong practitioners.

The coordinator of the Conservative Party for the Toronto Community said that this celebration party was wonderful. People from different communities in Toronto all came to attend. She said that the reason she came to the party was because she was very concerned about the persecution encountered by Falun Gong in China. She believed that this reflected how the Chinese government (Jiang's faction) persecuted innocent people. She said that people should all support the courageous Falun Gong practitioners' efforts in upholding their belief. She said that what impressed her most at the party was the Minghui School students' exercise demonstration, which was very peaceful, graceful and lovely. She said that she would definitely join this celebration again next year.

During the party, Canadian Falun Dafa Association spokesperson Ms. Ye Jilian read an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. In the letter, a New Year's greeting was extended to the Prime Minister who was going to visit China soon. At the same time, the letter asked Prime Minister Martin to bring New Year's wishes to all Chinese people, especially those Falun Gong practitioners who have endured the inhuman persecution for more than five years in China. "Over the past five years, the persecution of Falun Gong has deeply harmed tens of millions Chinese families and has severely damaged China's economy and morality, as well as China's international image."

The letter hoped that Canada, as "Chinese people's familiar old friend, would do what a genuine old friend should do, namely, urge the Chinese leaders to take immediate action to stop the persecution and defamation against Falun Gong. We hope that in the New Year, Canada and a China where there is no persecution, will develop a long-lasting and prosperous friendship."

During the party, numerous guests enthusiastically signed a petition to support Falun Gong and to condemn the persecution. In the evening, 750 guests signed the open letter in support of Falun Gong. More than 1,000 signatures were collected for the postcard campaign to rescue children who are suffering from the persecution in China. This open letter and these signatures, expressing the Canadian people's heartfelt voice, will be delivered to the Prime Minister's Office before his visit to China.

In the end, the party concluded with the chorus, "Falun Dafa is good." A woman who had just come to Canada from Mainland China said that the celebration party was very successful. It explained to people the principle of Falun Gong - "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" - and Falun Gong's real meaning. It changed the opinion of people who had been misled by the Chinese government's (Jiang regime's) propaganda. She felt that she had learned a lot.

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