Commemorating April 25 1999, a landmark peaceful appeal of Falun Dafa practitioners

April 25 1999 is a landmark in peaceful protest, which would have got the nod from Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

Apr 23, 2024 - 18:45
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Commemorating April 25 1999, a landmark peaceful appeal of Falun Dafa practitioners
Commemorating April 25 1999, a landmark peaceful appeal of Falun Dafa practitioners

45 Falun Gong practitioners who went to a magazine publisher about an article that slandered Falun Gong were told by the Tianjin police to take their appeal to Beijing, to the State Appeals Office adjacent to the Zhongnanhai central government compound.

Some 10,000 practitioners gathered in central Beijing that day, peacefully protesting for their civil rights. The April 25th Appeal, was notable not only for its size but also because it was remarkably peaceful and orderly.

The Chinese Communist Party, however, in its quest to crush Falun Gong twisted the facts to serve its own devious motives. To this day, Communist Party accuses Falun Gong of "laying siege to the Zhongnanhai Central Government Compound" on April 25, 1999. They falsely allege that the 10,000 gathered posed a violent threat to the nation and its leaders.

Nothing could be further from the truth

Traffic flowed through smoothly all day long. Some practitioners took the initiative to ensure the smooth flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The practitioners walked alongside the edge of the road, allowing pedestrians to use the sidewalk. They were calm and peaceful.

The 10,000 left peacefully later that day, after then-Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji met with Falun Gong representatives. Zhu agreed to release the Tianjin practitioners and gave assurances that the government did not oppose Falun Gong. At around 10 pm a message came from the West Gate of Zhongnanhai: "The representatives have returned, and they have conveyed the practitioners' requests to the leaders of the Central Committee. All practitioners arrested by Tianjin police have been released. Everybody can now go home." The practitioners cleaned up their surroundings, even picking up the cigarette butts dropped by the police. In less than 20 minutes, all the practitioners had left.

2 months after the false promises, on 20 July 1999 the State launched the worst ever persecution on Falun Gong practitioners and it continues till this day with at least a million killed for their faith and following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.

In the past 25 years, numerous practitioners have been arrested, detained, imprisoned, tortured, or even killed for their organs. Many people were misled by the demonizing propaganda and unwittingly aided in the persecution of people who followed Falun Gong. Companies fired their star employees for practicing Falun Gong. Neighbours reported Falun Gong practitioners living next door to the police for cash rewards. People divorced their Falun Gong practitioner spouses for fear of being implicated. Even parents, brothers and sisters assisted the authorities in their attempts to force the practitioners to renounce their faith.

Although the appeal on April 25 was unable to stop the CCP’s premeditated plot against Falun Gong, it allowed the public, both ordinary citizens and officials, to witness the peaceful and compassionate nature of Falun Gong practitioners. As more and more people learned what had happened, many of them realized that the appeal was a moral monument of our era.

Twenty five years after the CCP sought to crush Falun Gong ‘in three months’ countless Chinese citizens continue to find peace and spiritual fulfilment through the practice, and more and more people are peacefully standing up for their rights to do just that.

Ideology and policies of the Chinese Communist Party contradict everything that represents an ancient culture and modern democracy like India. China has a lot to learn from India. India should condemn human rights abuses in China. India needs to play a more decisive role such as Belgium, Italy, Israel, Norway, Spain, and Taiwan who have banned organ tourism, making it illegal for their citizens to travel to China for organ transplant and be part of the illegal human organ harvesting in China. This can give India the stance of a world leader. We are eager to see India stand in favour of humanity and stand on the right side of history.

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