Crashing a taxi into a 72-year-old woman would be a strong enough deterrent for some. But Mrs. Lin, a practitioner of Falun Gong who has sat outside the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok most days since about 2005, thought not much of it. After her legs recovered she was soon back out there.
She has been harassed, beaten, and had her protest banners repeatedly stolen, but still she comes.
Mrs. Lin, originally from Taiwan, is an adherent of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice consisting of slow moving exercise, meditation, and a teaching of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. It has been persecuted in China since 1999, and that persecution is the object of Mrs. Lin’s protests.
Her banners appear to have made the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok quite nervous. In August of last year, a taxi struck her, apparently on purpose, while she was sitting on the ground meditating, injuring both of her legs.
A few weeks later, a man dressed in black cursed Mrs. Lin and stole her banner. He told her her not to put up banners any more, and then sped off on his motorcycle.
On Oct. 7, Mrs. Lin was attacked again by a group of men who beat her with a steel pipe and fractured her right arm. They also stole her banner.
According to Mrs. Lin, the local police chief believes that the attack was carried out by Chinese agents hired by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to attempt to silence her voice of protest. The police chief told Mrs. Lin to be careful, and that he would investigate the case. Thailand media reported the incident.
Mrs. Lin resumed her protest after recovering from the beating. Starting July 18, she began displaying an even bigger banner, which reads: “Persecution Can Only Be Stopped by Disintegrating the CCP.”
Chinese human rights activists and Falun Gong practitioners who know Mrs. Lin all call her “Mother Lin.” Thailand’s State Council, police, immigration and other officials call her “Grandma Lin.”
Sometimes when Falun Gong practitioners from mainland China clarify the facts about Falun Gong in public, local police who are thought to be bribed by the Chinese Embassy, harass or arrest the practitioners. Whenever this happens, Mrs. Lin talks to the police and helps the practitioners gain release.
“I simply want to do what I can to stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China,” Mrs. Lin told The Epoch Times, adding that local Falun Gong practitioners are also doing the same.
She said that while the harassment and threats have discouraged her from time to time, her family and Thailand citizens who understand her support her continued efforts.
During the summer weather in July, when it often rains fiercely, local people often stop to give her cold drinks; bus drivers who knows her also let her off in front of her banner location so she doesn’t have to walk; some locals stop their cars and say things like “Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance is good; Thailand need Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.”
A Chinese Falun Gong practitioner, who is a refugee from mainland China currently in Taiwan, spoke about Mrs. Lin on condition of anonymity to protect family still in China. She said: “I don’t think the hot weather is the biggest factor; the hardest thing is for an old lady to face the metal gate of the Chinese Embassy, and the entire machinery of the Chinese communist regime … for one person to be so powerful on the inside is very admirable.”
When she’s out and about, people sometimes recognize her and say, “I know you. You are the grandma that always sits in front of the Chinese Embassy.”
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