Inner-West Weekly (Australia): The politics of fear

LUCY Zhao is living in fear at Burwood and has grave concerns for several family
members living in China.

Dr Zhao, a business lecturer at the University of
Technology Sydney, practises falun gong at Burwood Park every morning.

A
few weeks ago she learned that one of her cousins had been threatened by Chinese
national security officers because she was practising falun gong in Australia.

”My cousin was at university and the vice-chancellor told her to go to
the national security office,” Dr Zhao said.

”She (the cousin) was very
scared. They told her that they know everything that I’m doing here in Australia.
Other family members have been threatened.

”They (the government) start
with financial pressure or can prevent you from finding work.”

All of
this was relayed to Dr Zhao after her mother, who also lives at Burwood, had phoned
home.

China’s persecution of followers of falun gong, also known as falun
dafa, has been well publicised.

Dr Zhao said that falun gong exercises
and meditation had helped her overcome insomnia and minor illnesses such as colds
and flu.

She refuses to stop practising.

”It has also helped me
in my relationships with my family and friends through learning the value of tolerance
and compassion,” she said.

”I am now worried about how much the Chinese
government knew about my life here. I worry whether my home will be broken into
and how far the arm of the Chinese government extends.

”I also worry what
they might do to my family,” she said.

Dr Zhao left China at the age of
23 to study her PhD in business at the University of Toronto.

She arrived
in Australia in February last year to lecture at UTS.

Posting date:
6/May/2006
Original article date: 4/May/2006
Category: Media Report

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