Reminiscent of Tracy Chapman, Dowe writes songs that highlight injustices, speaking of love and life’s trials and tribulations. Every song has a story to tell and a particular highlight is ‘A Song for Sean Bell’, about a young black man shot dead by police in New York City. A stunning debut – expect her to go far.
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Friday, July 30, 2010
Falun Gong supporters, Anders suggested politicians and government officials from Canada and other countries are being wooed with extravagant gifts, beautiful young women and...
Read more: National Post
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Falun Gong publications have been burned by Chinese authorities
Human rights campaigners continue to criticise China for executing hundreds of people every year and for failing to stop torture. The country is keen to stamp down on what it sees as dissent among its ethnic minorities, including Muslim Uighurs in the north-west. The authorities have targeted the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which they designate an "evil cult".
Chinese rule over Tibet is controversial. Human rights groups accuse the authorities of the systematic destruction of Tibetan Buddhist culture and the persecution of monks loyal to the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who is campaigning for autonomy within China.
Read more: Dallas Observer
Ouyang YuOuyang Yu, Australian-Chinese author, reserves a special bitterness for the Chinese government, which Ouyang says imprisoned and tortured his younger brother, teacher Ouyang Ming, because of his Falun Gong membership. Ming, he says, was "a bag of bones" when he died at 41 in 2003, having been released from prison "so the authorities could avoid the blame for his death." Ouyang's forthcoming novel Loose is dedicated to him. Read more
One example of jailed victims of the persecution:
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
AI: Arbitrary Detention Medical Professor and Wife of Imprisoned Human Rights Lawyer Kidnapped, Held in Black Jail
Chinese authorities use the annual license inspection to intimidate lawyers.
Radio Free Asia - Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. Chang Boyang, a rights lawyer from Henan, told RFA that he passed this year’s review and was allowed to keep his license, but only after judicial administrative authorities stamped the words “failed” on his license. ...Read More
"Labor camp survivors have told me they noticed a real correlation between the degree to which the persecution they faced was exposed overseas and the treatment they received," Mr. Lemish writes. "Some have described all of a sudden being treated better in detention, being transferred to a better cell and no longer being tortured. Only after they were released did they realize that the change took place at exactly the same time that their case was publicized abroad."
By Christopher Eldred - This past June 22nd, Hong Kong publisher Bao Pu scrapped plans to print an insider view of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest crackdowns that saw the death of at least hundreds of students. Under claims that he did not own the copyright to the memoirs of Li Peng, the former Premier of China who helped execute the crackdown, the planned printing of 20,000 copies had to be aborted. More
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Epoch Times - Drew Parker understands the power of music and the great responsibility held by all of music creators. The twenty-eight year old singer songwriter has created a masterful experience of “acoustic pop rock with a positive vibe” in his debut album, On My Way Home.
“Mother China” is easily the album’s strongest effort. It is spurred forward with an undeniably catchy guitar line and carries a very important lyrical message. “It’s about a specific human rights subject: the persecution of Falun Gong,” explains the singer.
“The situation in China is utterly terrible right now…the torture methods used on [Falun Gong] practitioners would make your stomach churn. People have to know about these types of things, and that’s why I put the song on the album. At the same time we are donating all the profits from ‘Mother China’ to efforts in ending the persecution of Falun Gong.” Read More
About Tuidang: Tuidang Tuidang Quai Tuidang! Is a rallying cry. It means, Quit the Party! Quickly Quit the Party! This is a reference to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Millions upon Millions of Chinese people have become more aware of the malevolent nature of the CCP and have courageously come forward to separate themselves from this bloody regime. For more info on the Tuidang movement you can go here for nine commentaries on the communist party.
The argument against standing up to China is that we cannot afford to offend such a growing superpower, to jeopardise trade relations. But trade and politics have always been separate, and always will be.
The European experience with the monolithic Soviet Union during the Communist years was to name and shame its worst offences, and to do so with mounting intensity. This strategy worked and should now be applied to China. The "sophisticated" argument that China doesn't respond to Western anger carries no weight. Last week's indignant response from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman following Western condemnation of the execution laid bare China's sensitivity to criticism. Our response should not be to shy away from voicing further criticism but to capitalise on that sensitivity and use it to apply pressure for change. Europe must ensure that its political priorities are heard as loudly in Beijing as at home.
The prominent Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng cautioned in The New York Times last week: "We Chinese are intimately acquainted with this authoritarian arrogance." He spent 15 years in various Chinese prisons for putting up a wall poster, but was released after pressure from Washington. We must seize the chance to create a more consistent, coherent and effective foreign policy, one that sets out to co-ordinate a common European stance towards a changing China, the world's largest country and still a terror state.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The 4.5-tonne sculpture, welded together from deactivated guns, landmines and ammunition, has been shown in many countries, including at UN headquarters in New York in 2001, and has never run into problems, said artist Sandra Bromley, who built the sculpture with Wallis Kendal.
Besides the weapons, the exhibit includes panels with photographs of more than 100 victims of violence from dozens of countries, including two images of Tibetan nuns.
"The message is the unmasking of violence, we wanted to challenge the culture of violence and create dialogue about it," she said.
"This is on public display to the world and China wouldn't stand for that at a UN facility," said Knight, adding he's surprised UN staff gave in to China's pressure. It's ironic that a sculpture promoting peace would be censored at the UN, an organization devoted to peace and security, he said.
Kendal and Bromley's sculpture was displayed first at the Edmonton Art Gallery in 2000.
A firestorm of criticism ensued. Human rights organizations were rightly dismayed. How had impassioned advocacy for the dignity of every person been relegated to a position of mere interference? And this in spite of Obama campaign promises to ‘be frank with the Chinese" and "press them to respect human rights.’
In China we again see an administration which seems unable to find its voice on human rights. A glance at the news from the last several weeks alone makes it painfully clear that that voice - the voice which speaks out on behalf of those enduring tremendous persecution and oppression at the hands of their own government - has never been more necessary.
...The late Robert Kennedy, speaking in 1966 Cape Town, South Africa, to a gathering of students committed to challenging the injustice of apartheid, famously said
‘each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’Read more
With a blockbuster movie and plenty of major and minor international incidents, this season might be a taste of a booming future for espionage
By Wesley Wark, Ottawa Citizen Special -- New global powers, such as China, are emerging as the most aggressive practitioners of spying; dangerous non-state actors, such as transnational terrorist groups, increasingly recognize the need and value of spying on their enemies and counter-intelligence to protect themselves. The spy world has shifted into the cyber realm, deepening concerns about cyber aggression and cyber security. The question of loyalty to the state looks increasingly fluid, hence the concern about the Daniel Houghtons of this world.
It may be that we are headed into, not just the summer of spies, but the century of spies, in which some part of the peace and security of the globe will rest on the ability of intelligence services to do their jobs well. If so, we are in for a rough ride, and will need to re-think our notions of espionage.Read more
Washington Post editorial - Millions of people live in countries where the Internet is not free. Confined behind the elaborate firewalls of authoritarian regimes such as China and Iran, they find their rights to expression threatened online and off – by elaborate systems of monitoring and censorship and by harsh laws that punish bloggers with imprisonment or even death.
In January, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke powerfully in support of Internet freedom, saying, “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.”
Since then, the State Department has brought the issue of online freedom to the table in its diplomacy around the world and joined with Internet providers and social media companies to foster public-private partnership in Internet freedom. Such collaboration is key, since authoritarian regimes so often contract out the daily work of censorship to private companies.Read more
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Congressmen Call for End to 11-Year Persecution of Falun GongEpoch Times: WASHINGTON—On the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at high noon on Thursday, about 500 Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners from around the world gathered in protest of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of the meditation practice for the past 11 years.
Members of Congress, human rights activists, and Christian organizations joined offering their support for a new dawn of religious freedom in China.
“That is absolutely despicable,” shouted Rep. Smith. “[Those who] cherish freedom must speak out against the brutality and hate that everyday manifests by the dictatorship of Beijing.”
Rep. Ros-Lehtenin said that the “Chinese communist regime’s obsessive and relentless hunting down of practitioners of Falun Gong” is “one of the most flagrant examples of systematic persecution in the 21st Century.”Ros-Lehtenin was the author of H.R. 605 which called upon the Chinese regime to cease its campaign against Falun Gong practitioners and abolish the 6-10 office, which is given the mandate to "eradicate" Falun Gong. The resolution also called for the release of Falun Gong practitioners from prisons and reeducation through labor camps. It passed in March, overwhelmingly, 421 to 1.Congresswoman Ros-Lehtenin said nothing had changed in the last four months since her resolution passed.
“The persecution of Falun Gong is barbaric, bloody, and brutal, and it must come to an end at once!”Read more.
Raise awareness--distribute flyers
Watch a video of the Celestial marching band here
Another video of the Falun Gong story here
Take a look at the Photo Gallery here
One more report from Quotidian Dissent
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The German federal prosecutor’s office has accused two senior diplomats from Shanghai of spying on members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement
Falun Gong has been outlawed in China since 1999. Beijing perceives it as a cult and has devoted an agency, known as Office 610, to its global elimination. But Chinese espionage cases are becoming, in general, increasingly common in Germany. In the 2007 “Trojan” incident, Chinese spy software concealed in Microsoft Word documents hacked into German computers and stole information; the hackers were believed to be under the command of the People’s Liberation Army.
Earlier this year, the German Foreign Ministry forced the recall of a Chinese general consul in Munich after he was accused of spying on Uighur expatriates. In fact, the German government has reportedly had to create a special counterintelligence department to address Chinese security breaches. Though the public relationship between the two countries remains cordial, the escalating Cold War-style spy game threatens to tarnish years of diplomacy.
As the lingering rumour that the regime in China is harvesting organs of living people in detention continues to circulate, the Irish Government has called on the EU to investigateThe Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD said,
"I have instructed my Department to raise the issue at EU level, to liaise with EU Member States in investigating the allegations, and to seek a response from the Chinese authorities."
In the Kilgour/Matas report Bloody Harvest it says,
"We have concluded that the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and ‘people’s courts,’ since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including kidneys, livers, corneas and hearts, were seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries."Read more: Epoch Times
Falun gong (or falun dafa) is a meditation practice and spiritual movement focused on the principals of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. More than 10 years ago, because of the movement's wide and fast popularity, the Chinese government began repressing those who practiced falun gong, imprisoning them.
According to reports in The New York Times, some were held for years. Some were tortured; others died.
The persecution was "pretty gruesome," said Tim Gebhart, who helped to publicize the art exhibit. "And it's something the media doesn't know a lot about because it's so hard to get the information out of China."
"Zhen Shan Ren," a touring show on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda, reflects that persecution, as well as falun dafa's quieter, meditative moments (shown above). It features large-scale oil and watercolor paintings by 12 artists, most of whom are from China or have expatriated.
Kunlun Zhang, one of the artists showing work in the exhibit, was imprisoned in 2001.
The show is scheduled to tour throughout Wisconsin.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Reunion denied by China's ongoing religious persecution
Washington Times: Have you ever waited at an airport for a loved one you have not seen in a long time? Surely you remember the giddy expectation, scanning arriving passengers for that familiar face. But what if your loved one never arrived?
My husband never turned up. On Feb. 18, I waited for him at Newark International Airport with flowers. It had been over three years since I last saw him before fleeing China. Jiang Feng was to arrive on a Continental Airlines flight from Shanghai, but after the last passengers left he was still nowhere to be seen. My calls to China confirmed my greatest fears: He checked in, but never boarded the flight. Chinese secret police abducted him.
We married 12 years ago in Anhui province. I was a musician and he worked as a piano tuner. But before our first anniversary we were kidnapped from our workplaces and jailed. That was July 20, 1999, the first round of arrests of Falun Gong practitioners like us.Our worlds collapsed as the campaign rolled in with a force equal to that of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. Suddenly, we were enemies of the state, cut off from our family and friends. We were arrested for practicing meditation and following our discipline - principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Falun Gong was becoming too popular for the Communist Party's liking and our crime was having an independent belief system. Read more.
Free trips to China, honeytraps, lavish gifts used to compromise Canadian officialsEpoch Times: Jul 21, 2010 - EDMONTON—It could take the form of a guaranteed business deal, a lavish gift, or a young seductive woman at a bar. The end goal is always the same for the Chinese communist regime—to gain influence over Western politicians, says Rob Anders, Member of Parliament for Calgary West.
“The reach is deep, and it’s very unfortunate.”
Anders says the extent of the regime’s influence goes even beyond what Richard Fadden, head of CSIS, Canada's intelligence agency, said in comments on CBC in June or his televised appearance before a parliamentary committee earlier this month.
“I would argue that I’ve seen things happen on a federal level as well in our own government. And so I think there’s a lot more than he has even mentioned,” he says.Last month, Fadden said in an interview with CBC television that some Canadian officials are under the influence of foreign regimes, alluding to China as the most aggressive country in the effort to gain influence. He said that many of those being manipulated by Beijing were not even aware they were acting on the regime's interests due to the long-term nature of their relationship with Chinese agents of influence.
“I think that Mr. Fadden only gingerly scratched the surface. I feel for him that he was dragged before an investigative committee with parliament, to have to explain, and I think that this situation is far worse that what he let on.”
Anders says he has seen aspects of that occur.
“What will happen is MPs are given five-star treatment when they go to China, and they’re being introduced to young people who speak immaculate English … and given the impression that China wants to be just like Canada,” he explains.
“They get approached by people who offer them business deals that frankly are too good to be true, because these are deals that are being set up by the Communist Party, and are being done as an informal way to bribe Western politicians, because it sounds like a business deal, but they are business deals that never fail, and are very lucrative.”Seduced and robbed...
Following the Communist Party’s decision to suppress Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Falun Gong books were burned in mass public displays and the state-run media turned out a deluge of propaganda to vilify the practice. Falun Gong practitioners were stripped of their rights to free expression, religious practice, and legal protections. Schools expelled students for practicing Falun Gong, and workplaces turned in employees to be imprisoned and tortured.
Falun Gong practitioners today represent the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world, with hundreds of thousands extra-judicially imprisoned at any given time. Tens of thousands have been tortured in custody as prison guards attempt to force them to recant their beliefs.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Interviews with individuals who seek to end the Chinese Communist Party's Attack on Falun GongFor 11 years the peaceful adherents of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) have suffered persecution in China and for 11 years individuals inside and outside of China have worked to bring this persecution to an end.
Vice President of the European Parliament
Vice President Edward McMillan-Scott learned first hand about the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners while he was visiting Chinese leaders in 2006. During his visit, he also met with people who had experienced the CCP’s persecution first hand.
“After I left Beijing, everybody I had contact with was arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases, tortured,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott. He made a vow to, “Maintain my campaign for reform and democracy, and human rights in China” until the goal is achieved.
“I think it’s really important for people to understand just what in the world does really take place in China—the prison camps, re-education through labor, child labor, forced labor, torture. This is the real China,” he said. “The worst thing they’ve done is choose a totally innocent group of people [Falun Gong practitioners], and torture them to death, and this has got to stop."
Vice President McMillan-Scott shared his belief that the ruling regime in China will soon be “swept away” and replaced with democracy. He said in the meantime, “We’re setting up mechanisms that can punish the people who are doing the torture, that are oppressing the people of China, that are infringing human rights, and are conducting campaigns of genocide against certain parts of the population. We are watching.”
As an immigration and refugee lawyer, and an advocate for human rights, David Matas has been a strong voice against the persecution of Falun Gong.
He has furthered his work in human rights through investigations he and retired member of Canadian Parliament David Kilgour have done into the Chinese regime’s removal and selling of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. Their findings were published in their book, “Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs,” and both are Nobel Peace Prize nominees for their work on organ harvesting.
Mr. Matas has hunted Nazis, worked against Apartheid in South Africa, and battled dictatorship in South America, yet has made the forced removal of organs from Falun Gong practitioners one of his main focuses. "At the time I was involved in those human rights struggles, they all looked as daunting as the persecution of Falun Gong does now,” he said.
"What you are dealing with is a dictatorship, and dictatorships in my view are very fragile,” said Mr. Matas.
Although not a Falun Gong practitioner himself, he said that the practice represents the traditions of ancient China’s belief systems.
"So the significance of Falun Gong to China [is], it is the real China,” Mr. Matas said.
Mr. Matas said stopping the persecution against Falun Gong in China is the key to ending the persecutions of other groups inside China: “My view is if you stop that, you stop everything."Read more: Epoch Times
(Video) A Decade of Courage (Part 2) – Soul of a Nation
After ten+ years of often-brutal persecution by Chinas Communist authorities, the Chinese spiritual practice Falun Gong remains a visible presence worldwide. Its still practiced, although often in secret, by millions in the Mainland. What makes these people so committed to their beliefs? In A Decade of Courage: Soul of a Nation we look at the rapidly changing, post-Cultural Revolution China in which the practice emerged. We hear the stories of people who came to Falun Gong for various reasons, but who say their lives have been changed as a result. And, ten years after the Communist ban, on the tenth year that practitioners worldwide celebrate May 13th as World Falun Dafa Day, and 17 years after the practice was first spread on May 13th, 1992, we ask what this practice has meant for todays China, and what it will mean for Chinas future.
Monday, July 19, 2010
ACLA brought a motion to intervene in the case of Rong Jin, a Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured in China. Jin is suing Bo Xilai for torture she suffered while a student in mainland China.
“We opposed the intervention application of the All China Lawyers Association on the grounds that it is part of the persecution of the Falun Gong group in China,” saysMunyonzwe Hamalengwa, Jin’s lawyer -- state immunity is a general defense against any crime.
“If a government official tortures you, they are not supposed to be sued. It is almost like they should get off scot-free.”
Jin’s lawyers are arguing that state immunity does not apply in this instance because Bo Xilai was acting in a private capacity and that ACLA must not be given intervenor status because they are part of the persecution...
“They've got blood on their hands themselves, they're part of the denial of the rule of law, and our view is that the court should not exercise its discretion in their favour to participate in a fair legal system because they themselves are unfair.”
ACLA is directly controlled by China’s justice ministry, which is in turn directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, making the association fully under the direction of the very regime charged with torture, notes Matas.
An appeal filed to the Ontario Court of Appeals seeks to overturn a previous decision allowing ACLA to intervene in the case. More
July 20th will mark eleven years of inhuman persecution of the Falun Gong community by the Chinese party-state. It’s thus good to see so many Canadians of such varied cultural and religious backgrounds standing in solidarity today in our national capital. Officials in
We call for the government of
The Communist Party has deployed the most vicious lies in state media to demonize Falun Gong and used all available means to persecute those who believe in its principles. In contrast, for 11 years, Falun Gong practitioners in
Friday, July 16, 2010
Canada Free Press
2. " There is more than enough evidence to justify expulsion of this official"
Canada Free Press
3. " The targets of these rallies and hate slogans were Canadian citizens, and the demonstrators attacking these Canadians were mostly Chinese citizens, acting completely under the direction of a foreign power. This situation is an affront to Canadian sovereignty and must be stopped"
Canada Free Press
4. " I was assaulted and intimidated and called a ‘traitor’ by the Chinese Embassy recruited crowd for holding a sign that reads ‘Do not be fooled by Communist Party and learn the truth of China’."
Canada Free Press
5. " The Chinese Embassy tried to influence public opinion by rallying these foreign students to make Canadians think that the Canadian Chinese community on a whole supports the Chinese communist party, but they do not. Many immigrants from China came here to seek freedom away from the totalitarian regime"
Canada Free Press
6. " When a diplomat encourages hate against a group of people in Canada, he is acting against the diplomatic rules"
Canada Free Press
7. " The biggest danger of Liu Shaohua is that he is selling to the people a version of reality which is extremely wrong and extremely dangerous"
Canada Free Press
8. " This is a battle that relates to defending the reputation of our motherland!"
Canada Free Press
9. " Falun Gong, Tibetan separatists, Uyghur separatists, and democracy people"
Canada Free Press
10. " The University of Ottawa Chinese Students’ Association is under the direct leadership of the Education Office at the Chinese Embassy in Canada."
Canada Free Press
11. " Now in a word this is like waging war, so today we are mobilizing for war, having all of you raise your guard."
Canada Free Press
12. " The control of the overseas Chinese community has been a consistent strategic objective of the Chinese Communist Party so as to penetrate into the mainstream of the host country. It’s not just in Australia. It is done this way in other countries like the U.S. and Canada, too."
Canada Free Press
13. " The Falun Gong practitioners have been the target of the Chinese regime’s interference in Canada for over 10 years"
14. " With any country’s public diplomacy, there are many layers to the cake."
Globe and Mail
Chinese regime uses academic institutes to expand its soft power
Ms. Yan Li, a former reporter with the Chinese Communist Party’s official Xinhua News Agency, recounted her efforts to confront media sympathic with “Tibetan separatists” in a story posted on website serving Chinese literature scholars in North America.
“Under her influence, some Canadian students bravely debated with anti-China elements on the Internet, some wrote to television stations, and newspapers to point out that their reporting was not according to the facts,” the report said.
Eventually, one major Canadian television station even apologized for its coverage as a result of “the combined efforts” of Yan and her students.
And none of this would have been possible without Beijing’s efforts to establish Confucius Institutes, like the one Ms. Yan directs at the University of Waterloo.
Read more: Epoch Times
Thursday, July 15, 2010
London Free Press / Suburban / Sentinel Review : When Chen Yonglin, former First secretary and Consul for Political Affairs in Sydney, toured Canada in 2007 he exposed the Chinese regime's mandate for all Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide to influence government officials, mobilize Chinese students and the Chinese community, and control the Chinese media to influence public policy on China.
Like Fadden, Chen revealed that the tactics include putting pressure on the officials of various western governments and exchanging political benefits by economic means. He stated that one of the most effective methods used to develop influence over political leaders is to provide them with all-expenses-paid travel to China and lavish entertainment while they are there.
This method is common to all Chinese foreign missions in the West and should come as no surprise to anyone. As well, it was made known that one of their prime targets is the Falun Gong spiritual group and that influencing VIPs in thinking that they are a cult--thus discouraging any form of support and denying social programs to the group--is one of their top priorities.
Knowing the nature of the beast and its ability to erode our Canadian values, one may wonder why politicians still insist on accepting freebies from the Chinese regime and other countries without weighing the consequences. What are they thinking? If it were not for Mr. Fadden's frank talk apprising Canadians of the reality of the situation we might still be going down a slippery slope continuing to take advice from a totalitarian regime. How democratic is that? It's time to stop whining and do what's right to protect our democracy and sovereignty.
Letter, July 14. Calgary Herald - Had Thomas Bate done his homework, he would know that the organs of Falun Gong practitioners and others have been harvested for profit for several years, likely since the persecution of this group by the regime started in 1999. The book, Bloody Harvest: The Killing of Falun Gong For Their Organs, provides all the facts needed and is very graphic.
And according to other sources, the brutal invasion of Tibet by Beijing in the 1950s is not as simple as Bate describes it, either. Tibetan freedom fighters call it a sheer attack on the sovereignty of their country and cultural genocide.
Requesting the government of Canada to declare Liu Shaohua, first secretary of the education section at the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, to be persona non grataBy Online Thursday, July 15, 2010
Canada Free Press / MWC / Tibetan Review: Ottawa/Vancouver – This week, 17 organizations and individuals wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon requesting the government of Canada to declare Liu Shaohua, first secretary of the education section at the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, to be persona non grata for his role in mobilizing Chinese students and scholars to suppress Canadian protesters.
Liu Shaohua was caught on tape asking Chinese students and scholars to fight a ‘political struggle’ during Hu Jingtao’s visit.
He said “Falun Gong, Tibetan separatists, Uyghur separatists, and democracy people” were planning protests that would “sabotage” and “interfere with” Hu’s visit. He stated: “This is a battle that relates to defending the reputation of our motherland!” and whoever cannot come “must ask for leave from me.” He said the embassy will cover all expenses, but “do not talk about it outside.”
“The biggest danger of Liu Shaohua is that he is selling to the people a version of reality which is extremely wrong and extremely dangerous” said Mr. Michael Craig, Chair of the China Rights Networks, “When a diplomat encourages hate against a group of people in Canada, he is acting against the diplomatic rules”.Read More
Washington Post: April 27, 2010 - China's hidden policy of executing prisoners of the forbidden quasi-Buddhist group Falun Gong and harvesting their organs for worldwide sale has been expanded to include Tibetans, "house church" Christians and Muslim Uighurs, human rights activists said Monday.
They likened the practice to the Nazi treatment of Jewish prisoners in World War II concentration camps, which included using them for sadistic medical experiments and taking the gold fillings from the teeth of corpses.
"These groups are useless to the state," Mr. Gutmann said. "They are toxic, so you can't release them. But they're worth a great deal of money in terms of their organs."
Organs from just one person can fetch a total of $100,000 on the worldwide market, he added.
"This is an abuse that can end," Mr. Matas said. "The Chinese may feel it can abuse the Falun Gong to stay in power, but it doesn't have to take their organs."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
He and CSIS aren’t going “too far” at all, by being alert to politicians influenced by foreign elements. That’s just being vigilant, and CSIS doing its duty on behalf of Canada.
The Toronto Star scolds that he’s “unrepentant.”
What’s to repent?
The demand by some NDP and Bloc MPs that Fadden resign is ludicrous, and fortunately not supported by Liberal MPs who are more sensible and have had experience running the country.
A stronger case could be made that Fadden should resign if CSIS weren’t alert and checking the influence some foreign countries seek to exert on Canada — on politicians, business leaders, even select media people.
Fadden blurting out what he did in a CBC interview caused no damage to anyone. The demand by a Vancouver councillor that Fadden should publicly reveal the names of politicians he thinks are being influenced, is simply foolish.
Every government, friendly and hostile, is interested in influencing others. This is not necessarily subversive or even illegal. And if CSIS is concerned a particular politician — or citizen for that matter — is being unduly influenced by elements of another country or its government, it’s perfectly in order to alert that person as to what’s going on, and to be wary.
When the RCMP was in charge of Canada’s security, it was standard practice to warn politicians or individuals if there was risk that a foreign intelligence service might be focusing on them. Most recipients of this advisory appreciated it.
When I was sent to open a news bureau in Moscow, the RCMP (then responsible for Canada’s security and intelligence) gave me a pretty thorough briefing as to what to expect and the sort of attempts Soviet intelligence might try to win cooperation. It was useful and intriguing.
Honest politicians should be grateful CSIS is keeping an eye on the store and will warn if hanky-panky is afoot.
To suggest, as NDPer Don Davies (Vancouver-Kingsway) has done, that by his CBC remarks Fadden has “smeared” 1,600 municipal politicians in British Columbia is too silly to warrant comment — other than to consider voting against Davies next election.
“Foreign influence” today is not the same as it was during the Cold War. It is not “agents of influence” aimed at subverting the host country, and recruiting traitors into acts of treason and espionage that is the goal. More, it is gaining economic advantage. Even a business decision.
Richard Fadden is adamant he has no intention of resigning.
Good. Nor is he seeking “to duck behind walls of secrecy,” as the Star implies.
The federal government doesn’t seem overly concerned about Fadden’s gaffe to the CBC. He can provide names to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who can alert the individuals to the dangers of getting overly cosy with foreign governments.
So far, there’s no hint of anything illegal — nothing resembling treason or coercion of Canadians. In fact, perhaps Fadden should be commended for making the country aware of the realities of international business — even if it was on the CBC, which does not always have the country’s best interests at heart.
Why? Well, perhaps he could have explained to Patterson why he believes that Canada and China can “learn from each other in matters of rights, justice, civil service reform and corporate social responsibility.”
Perhaps he could explain to Patterson why he thinks China - which he named along with North Korea and Libya in a 2005 lecture to Amnesty Ireland as the world’s three biggest human rights abusers - has made more progress on human rights lately than any country in the world, including Canada.
Or maybe the Liberal leader could have explained to Patterson’s little daughter Hannah where her daddy went.
You see, Patterson’s husband, a noted, 39-year-old Beijing artist was - as described in a recent Toronto Star story from their Asia bureau - “recently detained without charge, beaten by police and taken to a detention centre where he has sat for the last 36 days.”
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. It’s quite common there.
Keep in mind that Ignatieff, as an academic, routinely spoke out against China and at one point even criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not being tough enough on that brutal regime. This was the same Ignatieff who, when running for the Liberal leadership, after Harper had been harshly critical of China’s abysmal human rights record, then turned full circle and accused Harper of “megaphone diplomacy,” saying criticizing China would only make matters worse.
Earlier this year, in fact, Ignatieff told a group of Calgary students that Canada had a duty to speak out against human rights abuses regardless of where they happen. “Just because China is big and powerful doesn’t mean that Canada should back down on this issue,” he said.
But wait a minute. Given the opportunity to speak publicly in China on that country’s human rights record, Ignatieff told a group of selected university students that, yes indeed, “We must be ready to speak plainly with one another about human rights.”
Who can argue? Except, of course, he didn’t go on to speak plainly at all about China’s record. Instead, he praised them.
He even went so far - and no, I’m not making this up - as to actually praise the so-called Cultural Revolution, a period where hundreds of thousands of innocent Chinese citizens were murdered or starved to death in what the National Post properly describes as “part of a larger pattern of Communist crimes against humanity that caused tens of millions of deaths.”
But our brave Liberal leader did say it was time for plain talk on human rights abuses.
So what did he do? He criticized Canada’s human rights record, telling his adoring, government-approved audience that “I am not blind to the gap that exists between our ideals and reality for some of my fellow citizens.”
To be sure, Canada isn’t perfect when it comes to human rights. But it’s a hell of a lot better than China in that sphere - as is nearly the entire world.
And for the man who wants to be prime minister to offer a moral equivalence between the democratic rights of Canadians and the dictatorial oppression of the Chinese is, well, obscene.
Ignatieff did not even mention some of China’s most egregious human rights abuses, e.g.its brutal oppression of such ethnic minorities as the Tibetans and Uyghur Muslims and of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and even Christian missionaries. He didn’t even bother to point out the fact that Canadians’ enjoy democracy and free elections. Chinese don’t.
But hey, when you’re trying to impress your hosts, why get bogged down in detail, eh?
Here’s an idea. For the next several weeks, Ignatieff is flitting around Canada on a partisan bus tour, stopping wherever he can for burgers and dogs and hoping to turn around his sagging political fortunes before the next election.
If he comes to your town - as he likely will - why not take a moment out to wander over to Ignatieff and simply ask him to explain that given his previous hardline comments on China and the opportunity to demonstrate that he really means it, why was it than when he finally went to China he decided to criticize Canadians instead and portray a false image of that regime in a cowardly attempt to please his Chinese patrons and - no doubt he hopes - perhaps pick up some Chinese-Canadian votes in the next election?
Let me know if he has an explanation.
Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa
Yesterday, David Matas and I wrote to Foreign Minister Cannon about the fact that Chinese Diplomat Liu should be declared Persona Non Grata in Canada . The key points of our letter are:
• Liu Shaohua, first secretary of the education section in the embassy in Ottawa, rallied Chinese students to suppress peaceful protests during President Hu Jintao's recent visit. His efforts led to threats and intimidation against Falun Gong practitioners and others by the students.
• Foreign diplomats can be expelled for any reason, or no reason. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in Article 9, says: "The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable."
• The question Lui’s behaviour poses is not what the Government of Canada can do, but rather what the Government of Canada should do. In our view, there is more than enough evidence to justify expulsion of Liu.
Toronto Sun: Canada should turf a Chinese diplomat for rallying students against human rights activists protesting Hu Jintao's visit last month, some of the activists said Wednesday.
The group says an official with China's embassy was trying to interfere with Canadians who wanted to demonstrate against the Chinese president.
Hu was in Ottawa prior to the G20 summit. Falun Gong practitioners, whose faith is banned in China, and pro-democracy protesters gathered at his hotel and on Parliament Hill. Pro-Communist demonstrators outnumbered them.
The Epoch Times, a pro-Falun Gong paper, reported they had a recording and an e-mail showing the official told Chinese students studying in Canada they had to go to support Hu.
“They want to give people here the (impression) that everybody's a part of communist China,” said Grace Wollensak, a Falun Gong practitioner.
David Kilgour, a former MP and secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, called the official a thug.
“They have no concept of where the boundaries are and in a case like this, unless we do something, the Chinese embassy will continue to abuse its position here as much as it possibly can,” he said.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Michel Juneau-Katsuya, who was Asia-Pacific bureau chief for CSIS, says in a video interview on The Mark that Mr. Fadden has been unfairly maligned.
“He went a little bit too far in talking to the details. If he would have stopped just a little bit before, he would have been home free,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.
Mr. Fadden said in a speech to police chiefs and security experts in March that two unnamed provincial cabinet ministers and a number of municipal politicians from British Columbia are being influenced by foreign governments.
He then repeated that assertion in a televised interview that aired in June. He was dragged before the Commons public security committee this week by angry MPs who accused him of smearing all politicians with his allegations against unnamed individuals.
“Some of the questions that were asked [by committee members] were totally inappropriate and they were the ones putting the security of Canada at risk and the security of Canadians at risk by asking names of people, asking files, asking evidence and everything,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.
Some people, he said, are trying to suggest that Mr. Fadden has tainted all politicians with his allegations.
“This is a lie, this is not what he’s done,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said. “He’s talked about specific individuals, to a certain extent, without naming them. And he talked about a specific problem.”
And that problem, the CSIS operative said, is real.
Rather than attack the messenger, he said, it’s time that Canadians understood the substance of Mr. Fadden’s statements – and that is that foreign intelligence agencies are trying to gain control of Canadian politicians.
“This is a reality, this is happening, this is a threat that can affect all elected officials at all levels and that is something that we need to talk about and need to be able to discuss,” Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.
“On the international scene everybody is looking at it and saying ‘yah, duh, it’s happening. … And it’s happening in our country as well. This is happening. Only the naive or the idiots are not willing to admit that it’s happening.”
Saturday, July 10, 2010
In 2005, Chen Yonglin, first secretary and consul for political affairs, defected from the Chinese consulate in Sydney and exposed the Chinese regime's mandate for all Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide to influence government officials, mobilize Chinese students and the Chinese community, and control the Chinese media to influence public policy. Chen revealed that the tactics include putting pressure on western government officials and exchanging political benefits by economic means. He stated that one of the most effective methods used to influence political leaders is to provide them with all-expenses-paid travel to China and lavish entertainment.
He stated they also regularly promoted the private business ties of some Australian political leaders.
He also said, "The control of the overseas Chinese community has been a consistent strategic objective of the Chinese Communist Party as a wat to penetrate into the mainstream of the host country. It's not just in Australia." It is done this way in countries such as the U.S. and Canada, too.
Some examples in Canada are as follows:
- In May this year, media reported that Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien, upon return from a business trip to China, refused to proclaim Falun Dafa Day as he had done in previous years because he said he "made a commitment."
It was construed that he made a commitment to Chinese officials during his trip to China. City council later bypassed the mayor to proclaim Falun Dafa Day.
- In 2009, at the Montreal Caribbean festival, Falun Dafa's Tian Guo Marching Band was invited to join the parade. However, then-Montreal city councillor Marcel Tremblay asked the president of the festival to kick out the band.
The president refused. Tremblay had been an active participant of Chinese embassy-organized events.
- In 2005 the Globe and Mail detailed extensively how the City of Toronto and many councillors were being targeted by the Chinese consulate and its agents to follow the party line on how Falun Gong and other groups unfavoured by the communist regime should be treated in Toronto.
Chen Xiaoling, the Chinese consul general in Toronto, wrote to city councillors, and the mayor asking the city not to hold a Falun Dafa Day. She wrote that if the motion is passed it "will have a very negative effect on our future beneficial exchanges and cooperation." The motion did not pass.
- To call for an end to the persecution in China, Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners set up a vigil in front of the Chinese consulate in 2001. Since then, the City of Vancouver has been under pressure to remove the vigil. Sam Sullivan, elected mayor in 2005, after being "treated like an emperor" on a visit to China, took on as his responsibility to have the display board removed.
Sullivan admitted that he had never even read the bylaw which he sought to invoke as the vehicle to remove this thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party.
These examples show there is cause for alarm for Canadian citizens that our democratic values, freedom and principles can be eroded by foreign influence.
When Fadden exposed this issue he, in fact, raised awareness of a threat that could seriously harm Canadian sovereignty and democracy if left unchecked.
Canadian democracy is under subtle invasion from a totalitarian regime. This is the core issue deserving attention.
Falun Dafa Association of Canada