If the top leaders of China could have two wishes this week, they might be to let China get the 2008 Olympic Games, (The decision comes on Friday) and to make Falun Gong disappear.
Falun Gong is the spiritual practice that sprang to the world’s attention on April 25, 1999. On that day, ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners managed to gather inside the Forbidden City in Beijing, in front of the headquarters of the Communist Party. There they spread their exercise mats, quietly performed their simple routines, rolled up their mats and left.
The Communist Party leaders were stunned at Falun Gong’s ability to mobilize, largely via the internet. Three months later, the group was banned. Today, in China, Falun Gong says its practitoners are being imprisoned, tortured and murdered.
(Hosted by John Donvan)
Erping Zhang, spokesperson for Falun Dafa Information Center in New York City
Craig Smith, Shanghai Bureau Chief for the New York Times
Rob Gifford, Beijing-based correspondent for National Public Radio. Elizabeth Perry, director, John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University