500km Bicycle Petition Attracts Attention of Media and Politicians
|Falun Gong practitioner Li Qizhong from Sydney, Australia finished his bike journey on December 20, 2002. The journey covered over 500 kilometers, during which he visited offices of five Federal MPs and the local government offices, and was interviewed by the local media: three newspapers, three radio stations and one TV station. During the journey he also collected signatures, to appeal to the Australian government to pass the Christmas present from him to his fiance' Li Ying who is illegally detained in China. The signatures were later sent to the China Section's office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra.
Li Ying is a Falun Gong practitioner in Mainland China who was illegally detained in a labor camp for distributing truth-clarifying materials. Upon learning that the loved ones of their own citizens are being detained and persecuted in China for practicing Falun Gong, MPs and their staff, government officials as well as the media and the general public were shocked, and they offered to do their best, either by writing to the DFAT and the Chinese Embassy or making phone calls, to help rescue Li Ying and pass the Christmas present. For example, only 20 minutes after Li left the office of a Federal MP in Goober, he received a phone call from the secretary, saying, "We have read your document. It is a very urgent and special case. There are only a few days left before Christmas. It is too late to write letters. I will call the DFAT and the Immigration Department and do our very best to help you."
Wollongong Win TV (local station of Channel 9) broadcast the interview with Li on their 6 o'clock news program on the same day of the interview, which received tremendous response from the general public. Li was having dinner at a McDonald's when the program went on the air, and a number of people walked up to him and shook his hand, telling him that they had just learned about his story on TV and wishing him all the success. There were also kindhearted people who offered him money to help during his bicycle journey, but Li declined their offer and thanked them for their kindness. Many drivers passing him also showed their support and encouragement by honking their cars or showing V sign.
At the China Section's office of DFAT in Canberra, Mr. Warran King received Li. Mr. King expressed the view that the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese government is wrong, and the Australian government is seeking effective ways to rescue Li's fiance'. As for the Christmas present, their office would contact relevant departments in Shanghai where the labor camp is located and make an inquiry on his behalf, to show their concern over the case.
Li also planned to visit the offices of another five Federal MPs in nearby areas, to tell them through his story of the "Christmas present" the truth of the persecution of tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who are illegally detained in prisons and labor camps in China, including the persecution of the relatives of Australian citizens. Li appeals to all Federal MPs and government officials to extend their helping hands to help rescue innocent Falun Gong practitioners so that families can be reunited soon.
When talking about the hardship he endured during the bicycle journey, Li, pointing at his legs that were badly sunburned, said jokingly, "This was really a completely sacrifice."
Posting date: 28/Dec/2002
Australian Falun Dafa Information Centre: www.falunau.org