April 03, 2006
FALUN Gong protesters were kept well
out of sight of visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Perth yesterday.
protesters were banned by authorities from holding banners and placards outside
the hotel where Mr Wen met West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter.
pair ate lunch with a large contingent of industry leaders and politicians at
Gershwin’s restaurant inside the Hyatt Regency Perth, as members of the dissident
religious group staged their protest on a street around the corner.
protesters condemned China for its treatment of the group’s practitioners, and
cited a recent report in the pro-Falun Gong publication, The Epoch Times, which
claimed there were about 36 secret death camps operating in China.
Mr Carpenter said his meeting with Mr Wen was a success and focused on the opportunities
for future relations between resource-rich Western Australia and China.
said there was also great potential for Western Australia to attract more Chinese
students. Only 5 per cent of China’s 80,000 fee-paying students in Australia study
in the state.
The Premier said it would not have been proper for him to
raise the subject of human rights in China with Mr Wen.
Mr Carpenter said
he had invited Mr Wen to Western Australia to discuss economic ties.
don’t think it would have been proper to then try to embarrass him in any sense,”
Falun Gong spokesman Albert Lin said he was disappointed federal
and state governments had bowed to pressure not to challenge Chinese officials
on the subject of human rights.
“They need to have more guts,”
Dr Lin said. “They want to do future business with China, we understand that,
but why can’t they just say something?”
Dr Lin said the demonstrators
were denied a permit to hold their protest near any of the hotel’s entrances.
“When we asked why the permit was not granted, the staff member replied
that the State Security office and the Premier’s office had issued the order.”
Original article date: 3/April/2006
Category: Media Report