Indonesia: Falun Gong Invited to Participate in Parade - CCP Extends Dark Hands to Interfere

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On April 29th, 2007, Surabaya, Indonesia celebrated the 714th anniversary of the founding of the city, and invited many groups from different places to take part in a grand parade. Local Falun Gong practitioners were invited, and the Divine Land Marching Band composed of Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners also came from afar to add to the joy of the celebration.

However, at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the sponsor stopped the Falun Gong group and the Divine Land Marching Band from participating in the parade at the last minute. Falun Gong practitioners condemned the CCP for trampling upon Indonesian citizens' basic human rights.

The Divine Land Marching Band composed of Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners is prohibited from performing

The Falun Gong group has been invited to take part in the parade in Surabaya in recent years, and their float and celestial maidens' dance performances have been well received by the local people. They were once presented with an award by the city mayor. This year, Indonesia Falun Gong practitioners especially invited Taiwan's Divine Land Marching Band, composed of more than 170 practitioners, to come to perform. There was also a waist drummers' troupe, a flag troupe and a celestial maiden's troupe that were composed of Falun Gong practitioners from different places in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Medan, Bali, and Batam. This year had the largest scale procession and the largest number of people participating compared with previous years.

The Divine Land Marching Band and Waist Drummers' Troupe

However, three days ahead of the parade, the sponsor of the city suddenly informed the Falun Gong group that they could not participate in the parade this year, without giving any reason. Falun Gong representatives asked to meet with the mayor and deputy-mayor, but to no avail. Ms. Yayuk from the sponsor finally replied, "You do not need to try any more, this is because of pressure from the CCP."

The coordinator of the Falun Gong group in Surabaya, Mr. Yang said, "We could not find the mayor, nor the deputy-mayor. It is said that they were invited to go to travel in mainland China. We had to go to seek help from human rights organisations." The person in charge of the human rights organisation said, "The Indonesian citizens have the right to freedom of association and assembly. The sponsor had no reason to refuse the Falun Gong group from exercising their rights as citizens, to celebrate in their city's festival. You can certainly participate."

On April 29th, the parade route was fully packed with people. The Falun Gong group was given the No. 27 spot in the parade procession, but the police insisted on preventing them from marching, and also refused the Divine Land Marching Band that came from afar. As the traffic was very busy, more than 170 members of the marching band were stranded at the site, so they simply performed on the spot in front of the City Hall, on the square opposite the provincial governor's house. Their grand performance attracted many people's attention. Onlookers were amazed and asked where the performers were from.

Regarding the practitioners being stopped from taking part in the parade, Mr. Yang said, "It can be seen that the police contradict themselves, they sympathised with us, but had to execute orders from higher authorities. The Divine Land Marching Band specially came from Taiwan at our invitation. More than a hundred people have come to Surabaya, but were prohibited from performing, which doesn't make sense. The Divine Land Marching Band's impromptu performance convinced the police, who kept saying thanks to the practitioners."

The Divine Land Marching Band plays music "Falun Dafa Is Good" in front of the city hall

According to Falun Gong practitioner Mdm Huang in charge of the Divine Land Marching Band, the boss of the hotel where the band stayed told her that the hotel received a phone call on April 30th, asking what the Divine Land Marching Band would do in Surabaya.

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. He who works at a local company revealed that he was being threatened. He said that the assistant manager of his company received a phone call from an "Indonesia-China Friendly Association," asking the company to handle the matter of him participating in the parade. If not, it would call the police to arrest him. Mr. He said, "Obviously, we were threatened."

At the behest of the CCP, the police stop the Falun Gong contingent from marching

Ms. Chen, coordinator of the Surabaya Falun Dafa Association said, "We consulted a lawyer. The lawyer said we have a legal right to participate in a civil activity, which should not be suppressed." Ms. Chen also said, "Since the Chinese Consulate set up an office in Surabaya this year, it has started infiltrating and manipulating the Indonesian community. The sponsor of the city parade candidly told us that they were under CCP pressure. This is an example. The CCP uses economic benefits and other elements to infringe upon Indonesian citizens' rights, and extends the persecution of Falun Gong from mainland China to overseas. It is a shameful and despicable act and should be condemned by the Indonesian people."

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