- The Chinese government has announced it has banned the
Falungong sect as an 'illegal organisation'.
- The move follows several days of arrests of key sect
members, as Jane Hutcheon reports.
- The Chinese government announced the ban this afternoon,
telling journalists the sect presents a serious threat to Chinese society.
A media blitz has begun in an attempt to discredit the 100 million strong
sect and its leader US based Lee Hung-jur. The government says this will
be a nationwide crackdown comparing it to the student unrest of 1989.
State media has released cases of sect members who have committed suicide
or failed to seek medical treatment as a result of their involvement in
- Note: ABC (Australia) news also stated in a broadcast
that this religion is based on Buddhism, and that those arrested were
mostly middle to old age, as the visual footage confirmed. News in
April 1999: Largest demonstration since Tiananmen hits Beijing's government.
- An estimated 10-thousand members of a banned sect have
beld a peacefull protest in the biggest demonstration seen in Beijing
since the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests of 1989.
- The demonstration, outside the Zhongnanhai, the seat
of power of China's central government, involved members of the Falungong
- They came from provinces all over China to protest against
the detention of 50 fellow members and demand assurances they will be
allowed to continue to practise their beliefs.
- The demonstrators, stood in orderly rows, sitting or
standing and mostly reading the teachings of Falungong.