Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) practitioners from Canada and supportive lawmakers celebrated the 27th annual World Falun Dafa Day in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday. The attendees condemned the persecution of the practice perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and commended the 20-year-long peaceful resistance by practitioners. They also called for laws to help stop the CCP’s forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China.
Member of Parliament Judy Sgro, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, spoke at the celebration. She stated, “When I look out and always see the words truth, compassion, and tolerance, I thank each and every one of you for what you are bringing to Canada by promoting the very values that make a country strong.”
MP Sgro continued, “Because those are very much the very three words that I believe all of us as parliamentarians believe in, promote, and want to see all Canadians participating and focusing on those same values.
“Our wish for today is that in China and in other countries around the world that do not respect people’s human rights, that they celebrate truth, compassion, tolerance, and the Falun Dafa movement as a way to bring peace even in those countries.”
Member of Parliament Peter Kent, Co-Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, gave an address: “Twenty years ago last month, on April the 25th, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered silently and peacefully, in Beijing, demanding the same rights that you today are standing to support, standing to send a message to the government in Beijing of the rights that you wish all Chinese people, all Chinese citizens, should have the right to observe.
“We know that mere months after April 25th, again, the regime cracked down and began two decades of persecution, extra-judicial detentions and arrests, phony trials, forced confessions, torture, murder, and organ removal.
“It’s important that we continue to stand, to demand those basic freedoms of association, of religion, of speech, and the right to enjoy of these freedoms as I said, that we take too often for granted here in Canada.”
MP Scott Reid said, “Nobody represents the best qualities of this magnificent and ancient culture, of this wonderfully civilizing culture, than do the practitioners of Falun Gong. So the rule that you endure, your courageous compatriots in the People’s Republic of China are playing, in turning China’s mission into what it ought to be for the benefit of all humanity cannot be overstated, and I can only say [that] I stand in awe of the tremendous courage in the service of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance that is being demonstrated by so many millions of Falun Gong practitioners.”
MP James Bezen stated, “The whole theme of your practice as Falun Gong and Falun Dafa practitioners of truth, compassion, and tolerance, resonates so well across races, across faiths, and really is the bedrock of our Canadian democracy. You have found a home here in Canada. We embrace you.
“Working together, we will stand up for the truth. We will be compassionate to those that seek refuge, and through tolerance we’ll make a better country and a greater world.”
MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette praised the teachings of Falun Gong: “These are Canadian values, they are ones based on human rights, they are ones based in our constitution, about looking after each other. and this is extremely important because democracy is something which is so precious.”
MP Wrzesnewskyi was the first MP to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in 2008, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking and transplanting human organs and other body parts).” After 11 years of continuous efforts by him and other MPs, Bill S-240 was passed unanimously in the House of Commons. It now waits for final vote in the Senate.
The MP stated, “Falun Gong practitioners guide themselves by the values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. But there’s also another value that you clearly demonstrate, and that’s perseverance.”
David Kilgour said, “I think we’re going to win this battle, and I think we’re going to win it quite quickly.”
He continued, “If people who didn’t help us until now had done more, maybe what’s happening to the Uighur community wouldn’t be happening, and it would have stopped happening to you a long time ago, to your community a long time ago.”
MP David Anderson: “For 20 years the Chinese government has targeted your community, beginning with the launch in 1999 of a campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. We know the stories of torture, of prison, of organ harvesting, and of many deaths.
“I’ve followed along the history of the destruction of the Tibetan people. Lately we have seen a massive attack on Uighur Muslims that is unrelenting. And recently attacks on the Christian community in China, and an attempt to destroy it. All of that for an ideology that sets aside human beings, that can handle no competition, that destroys people for failing to accept it without question.
“It has been my privilege to stand beside you as we have fought for basic freedoms. For the freedom to believe, and the freedom to live out those beliefs.
“I have sent a certificate to you that says as repression increases globally, we recommit ourselves to the principle that all people should be able to believe as they choose and to live out that belief. In honour of Falun Dafa Month, we stand with the Falun Gong practitioners and oppose the Chinese government’s increasing persecution of religious minorities. Thank you for letting me join with you today.”
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada: “Amnesty International reports have made that very clear. The prisoners of conscience, the massive use of torture, the countless individuals who have been killed or have died in custody. It is a terrible terrible human rights situation. No matter how cruel, no matter how relentless a campaign of abuse and violence by the Chinese government has been, what has always been so incredible for me to see is how Falun Dafa practitioners do not waver. Do not waver in their conviction. Do not waiver in their beliefs. And are not intimidated on giving up the struggle for rights and justice.
“I am here today because I very much wanted to pay tribute to the incredible strength and resilience and determination that I have always been so impressed by in all of the Falun Dafa practitioners and their families whom I have met over all these years. And I’m here as well because I certainly once again want you to know that Amnesty International joins you in demanding, in insisting, that the crackdown end, and the crackdown must end now.
“And certainly, here we are gathered in Ottawa, and I once again add my voice to the family members, to you, in demanding and insisting on freedom, safety, and justice for the Canadians, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, individuals who are close family members of citizens and permanent residents, people like Canadian citizen Sun Qian and countless others who have those close connections to Canada.
“We particularly raise our voice in demanding and insisting on freedom for them, and here we are on Parliament Hill, we look to the Canadian government to be leading those efforts to ensure safety and freedom for those prisoners.”
David Bhatti, as representative of MP Barnett Genuis, hopes that Bill S-240, which combats organ trafficking, will pass.
Mr. Bhatti stated, “MP Garnett is the one who carried Bill S240 in the House of Commons just this past year and after 11 years, we finally got the bill passed through the House and it’s just one more small step in the Senate and we’re going to get organ harvesting part of the criminal code in our country ”
Aileen Calverley, the founder of Hong Kong Global Network, hopes that all Canadian lawmakers will support Bill S-240.
Former Taiwan Legislative Member Lin Zhefu also gave a speech at the gathering, supporting Falun Gong’s peaceful resistance against the communist regime’s persecution.