I suppose it is generally a good idea not to pick up a fight with someone agreeing with you. Or as Sherlock Holmes would have said, “it’s elementary”. So with that in mind, this following story probably sounds rather amusing. (H/T to Charles Liu)
The short version: Some Falun Gong followers literally stopped the press of a Canadian newspaper over a sympathetic article towards their cult spiritual movement.
The long version, as told by the Province:
Frank Cui, [a devout Falun Gong practitioner and] the owner of the Burnaby-based Epoch Press, which is affiliated with the Falun Gong movement, … has printed the Asian Pacific Post, an independent award-winning Vancouver weekly, for the past three years.
Last Thursday [January 8, 2009], Cui held the Asian Pacific Post hostage.
He and other senior members of the Falun Gong group in Vancouver felt that the newspaper’s front page story was detrimental to their cause.
The story was about an elaborate dance production showcasing Chinese culture that is expected to perform in Vancouver this April. The story claims the group has been targeted by the Chinese government because the show’s local presenters are the Falun Dafa Association of Vancouver and New Tang Dynasty TV, a North American broadcaster founded by and affiliated with Falun Gong practitioners.
Cui and his cabal did not like the story’s “balanced” approach. They did not want readers to see the Chinese government’s views of the Falun Gong. They wanted to control the content and said they had a “legal right” to do it.
When Harbinder Singh Sewak, the publisher of the Asian Pacific Post, said no, Cui refused to release last week’s paper from the print shop.
The report ended with this summary:
The control [Falun Gong followers] say China exerts on them is the same control they want to exert on others. The freedom they say China denies them is the same freedom they have denied the Asian Pacific Post.
So what could be so offensive to Falun Gong followers in that Asian Pacific Post article? I went through it and couldn’t find any. If anything, it is casting the Chinese government’s words and actions as unreasonable and bullying. But then again, merely reporting the Chinese government’s position on Falun Gong in this matter is beyond the tolerance threshold for some true believers.
It should also be noted that Asian Pacific Post is hardly neutral as far as China is concerned. You may get some more chuckles out its editorial from two years ago railing against the approval for nine Chinese central and local TV channels to be made available in Canada.
And how did I find this particular editorial? It is listed at Falun Gong Canada’s website.