A Chinese Association has allegedly sent a letter to Christmas parade organisers in the Auckland suburb of Panmure, warning “there may be unpleasant outcome during parade” should Falun Gong's Divine Land Band participate.
The Epoch Times obtained a copy of the letter, which warns that Chinese onlookers may have a confrontation with the band and urges the organising committee to refuse them entry.
Panmure Business Association board member, Mr. Mike Ferriss, blew the whistle on the Chinese Association and passed the letter to the lawyer working with Falun Gong on Auckland's Christmas parade refusal. Mr. Ferriss said he also made a complaint to the Business Association for declining the application.
“It’s not like the Falun Dafa is trying to introduce politics into the march, it’s like someone else is… which is ironic,” he said.
“The Chinese Association is trying to bring Chinese politics into our country. It doesn't belong in New Zealand. I could clearly see that [the letter] was a violation of human rights.”
Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), have participated in the Panmure Christmas parade since 2001, and have won several prizes for their entries.
The letter comes in the same week that lawyer Evgeny Orlov argued in the High Court that the Auckland Santa Parade Trust was excluding the Divine Land Band from the main Auckland parade on the basis of discrimination. No written verdict has been handed down, although the band will not be participating in Sunday's Auckland parade.
Mr. Orlov said the Panmure Chinese Association sent the letter “to more or less say 'keep the Falun Gong out or there will be physical violence'—they will actually attack the Falun Gong.”
“So we are now going from a political threat to a physical threat.”
The Panmure Business Association had been frightened by the Chinese association, Mr. Orlov said, which he says is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party.
“They are so arrogant that they think that they can threaten to exclude members of the population. It is the same as what the Nazi party was doing when they were saying to get rid of Jews and there was a huge attack and they were saying 'we want them out'. Same thing, there is no difference, just that the colour has changed and the identity has changed.”
Falun Dafa Association of New Zealand spokesperson Kerry Gore said, “If the Panmure Chinese Association is prepared to do something like this, one can imagine what other Chinese organisations might be prepared to do in the case of larger parades.”
Auckland Santa Parade Influenced by Chinese Consulate
The letter received by the Panmure Business Association may help shed light on the continuing ban by the Auckland Santa Parade Trust of Falun Dafa and its Divine Land Marching Band from New Zealand’s largest Christmas parade. The Auckland Santa Parade Trust justifies its ban by saying Falun Gong is political.
Falun Dafa Association of New Zealand president, John Yu, said the group has applied to enter the Auckland Santa parade since 2001 and has been denied every year. In 2006, however, the Divine Land Band was initially welcomed into the parade.
Band applicants said the organisers told them they were very pleased to include them in the parade as they needed another brass band in the event. A monetary donation was also offered to the band by the organisers.
Later, when band members told organisers that the band consisted of Falun Gong practitioners, the invitation was rescinded.
“I think the fundamental reason behind the case is the pressure and propaganda from Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Yu said. “Falun Gong is following truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, and it is good for everyone in the world.”
Further evidence points to an active involvement of the Chinese Consulate in backing Chinese “front organisations” to enter parades.
The Epoch Times interviewed a contact for a local Chinese student association, who said their entry into the 2007 Auckland Santa parade was organised by the Auckland Chinese Consulate.
“The Consular in charge of education has taken the most responsibility to organise a lot of Chinese students to participate,” the contact said in an unofficial translation.
This is consistent with entries on the Massey University Chinese Student Association website, which reports on the 2007 parade entry: “Among this parade, overseas Chinese will organise a team which is the most splendid and prosperous one in the course of history. This activity is initiated by the Auckland Consulate of PRC [People's Republic of China], and is participated and cooperated with all circle of Chinese communities and student associations.” (translation from the original Chinese).
Mr. Orlov said the Falun Gong spiritual group is the modern day Jews in terms of persecution and related the Chinese Communist Party influence to New Zealand's trade deal with China.
“If [China] buys New Zealand—it already has, virtually—it can then dictate New Zealand politics.”
He said China wants world domination in the same way Hitler and Stalin wanted it.
“It can get it without war—it can get it through economic power. And then China can simply call up, as they've been doing now, and say we don't want these people in our parade, we don't want these people in our street. Tomorrow they might say, we want these people imprisoned, and the next day they may say they want these people deported to China for organ harvesting, and each time the government will allow them, it has been happening now—it will happen even worse if somebody doesn't stop it.”
Mr. Orlov said he will now take the case with the Auckland Santa Parade Trust to the Human Rights Tribunal.