Falun Gong barred from Jakarta float parade

Reuters, Aug. 25, 2002

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The Falun Gong spiritual movement, banned in China as an “evil cult”, was barred in Indonesia from participating in an independence anniversary float parade on Sunday, local media reported.

Metro TV private television station reported that although the Indonesian Falun Gong Association had paid an entry fee of five million rupiah ($560), the parade committee wouldn’t let its members march or drive their floats — decorated in the Falun Gong’s yellow colour — through the streets of Jakarta.

“The committee barred us from participating in this parade after they got a call from the foreign ministry. We asked them what was the reason but they couldn’t answer,” Adiwarman, the group’s lawyer, told Metro TV.

Ministry officials declined to comment, but China is known to look with disfavour on other countries which allow a free reign to the Falun Gong.

Indonesia normalised diplomatic ties with China in 1990 after around two decades of severed relations, and may be seeking to score points with Beijing, which last week criticised a visit to Jakarta by Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu.

Jakarta played down the visit as private but Lu managed to see some Indonesian officials and generate publicity for Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday August 25, 2002.
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