Macarthur Chronicle: Govt lobbied to help falun gong practitioners

Vera Bertola

Falun Gong practitioners in the Campbelltown area
have lobbied local tiers of government in a bid to highlight alleged atrocities
against their fellow members in China.

Ingleburn residents Julia Yi and
Stacey Wang said recent reports revealed concentration camps where tens of thousands
of falun gong practitioners were held and facing possible death. There were also
allegations of organ harvesting.

The women, two of about 30 practitioners
in the Campbelltown area, organised a display in Queen St some weeks ago to draw
attention to the plight of the falun gong in China. They distributed 10,000 flyers
and collected about 300 signatures and forwarded it to Werriwa Federal Labor MP
Chris Hayes, asking him to present it to Federal Parliament.

A spokesman
for Mr Hayes said he had made representations to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
and asked a series of questions about the alleged concentration camps in China
and the persecution of the falun gong there.

Campbelltown Mayor Russell
Matheson said while he sympathised with the women’s stories of atrocities, not
much could be done at a local government level. ”No one likes to see any type
of atrocities anywhere in the world,” he said, ”but it must be raised at a federal
level. These issues need to progress to a higher level to be dealt with.”

Yi said her parents-in-law had recently been given refugee protection by the Australian
Government. ”Falun gong practitioners lose their nationality; they can’t go back
to China,” she said. ”There is a practitioner from Glenfield, a student, who
cannot go back to China. There are a lot of sad stories.”

Posting date:
Original article date: 6/June/2006
Category: News & Media


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