Politicians tap dance around Falun Gong show

14 Apr

There was a pregnant pause on the other side of the phone when the question was asked.

We will get back to you said the aides.

They didn’t.

First it was the Mayor of Vancouver’s office. Then it was the Prime Minister’s office. Same thing happened at the Governor General’s office.

Nobody it seems wants to comment on the clandestine moves by the Chinese Government to discourage VIPs from supporting or attending the Divine Performing Arts (DPA) show, which has Vancouver dates this month.

Show organizers have insisted their performances have nothing to do with Falun Gong, and describe the stage production as a concert “showcasing the best of authentic traditional Chinese culture without communist culture.”

Read what you may through the lines, but some critics have described it as tacky entertainment by Falun Gong followers wrapped around anti-China propaganda. (See: “Crouching Dancer, Hidden Jargon” – Asian Pacific Post, March 12, 2009, http://www.asianpacificpost.com/editorial).

But never mind the show. It’s the diplomatic tap dance that has captured the imagination of some China watchers in Canada.

They say that some of our VIPS are in a sticky situation and have ruffled the feathers of Beijing by their unabashed support for the Divine Performing Arts show, which in Vancouver is being presented by the Falun Dafa Association of Vancouver.

China, which is already seething at Canada on a variety of fronts, says the DPA show is linked to the Falun Gong, a movement it describes as anti-science, anti-humanity and an anti-society evil cult.

The movement is banned in China because it uses religion as camouflage to brainwash and control practitioners, says Beijing.

The Divine Performing Arts show has already stirred up controversy in Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and even neighbouring Alberta where Chinese diplomatic officials wrote to local VIPs telling them their support of this Falun Gong-linked production will impact on relations with China.

It is unclear whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General Michaëlle Jean, whose glowing messages about the show adorn the organizer’s website, were informed about the Falun Gong involvement.

It is also unclear whether Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson or B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell will now attend the show given its links.

Canadians, by and large, have difficulty with big governments, let alone foreign ones dictating what we should support or not support.

China’s pressure on VIPs not to attend the DPA show is distasteful.

At the same time, the Falun Gong movement should come clean on its connections to and its influence on the Divine Performing Arts show.

That way our VIPs will know what they are supporting and the audience will know what they are seeing.

text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/200904/t90603.htm

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