SYDNEY—An Australian promoter of a Chinese cultural performance has confirmed that the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China had sent letters to Sydney dignitaries in an effort to stop them seeing the performance.
Universal Cultural Communications, the co-presenter of the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company, said the notice slandered the show and the spiritual discipline of Falun Dafa, which is presented in contemporary scenes in the show.
Letters were also sent in an attempt to discourage schools from bringing school groups to see Shen Yun.
New South Wales State MLC Dr. Gordon Moyes called on the Australian Government to stop the interference to what children can see and hear.
“There is no question; if a foreign government interferes in religious or education practices of Australian citizens, they are acting illegally,” he said at a press conference held at the Capitol Theatre on Monday, Feb. 21.
Ian Cohen, New South Wales MLC for the Greens, said he had seen Shen Yun a number of times.
“I can assure you that I have not been damaged by the experience,” he told reporters.
“In fact, I have been somewhat uplifted every time by the grandeur. It’s an experience that should be shared by all people, particularly young people.”
Mr. Cohen said Sydney was one of the most multicultural cities in the world, something that made him proud.
“We don’t accept any country dictating control over cultural activities under any circumstances.”
John Deller, spokesperson for the New South Wales Falun Dafa Association, which is a co-presenter of Shen Yun, said Australian democracy was something to be proud of and upheld.
“The Shen Yun artists have the freedom of artistic expression, which is not present in China today,” he said.
Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company manager, Vina Lee, a Chinese born Australian citizen, said it is not the Australian way to be told what to do by a foreign power.
She said it would be a "tragedy" if that were to change.