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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Global Human Rights Torch Illuminates Auckland City

December 18, 2007

By Sarah Matheson
Epoch Times Auckland Staff
Dec 15, 2007


Two Greek goddesses, seven flaming torches, and a crowd of people
quietly walked down the middle of Queen St in central Auckland on
Sunday. They were calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics - if the
human rights violations in China continue.

Chinese and Kiwi onlookers looked mesmerised at the procession involving
Auckland's Burmese community, monks from Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Burma,
Chinese pro-democracy activists, members of the Coalition to Investigate
the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) and concerned citizens.

Auckland is the first of 16 New Zealand cities to host the global Human
Rights Torch Relay as it travels to over 130 cities in 25 countries.

Auckland City Councillor and CIPFG member Dr Cathy Casey was the torch
bearer at the ceremony to mark the start of the New Zealand tour.

Dr Casey said the torch is a symbol of solidarity for the plight of the
Chinese people, and particularly Falun Gong practitioners.

"The symbolic torch relay shines for all victims of the Chinese
Communist Party," she said.

Dr Casey became involved in CIPFG after the Hon. David Kilgour --
co-author of an investigation report of state-sanctioned organ
harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners -- visited New Zealand
almost two years ago.

Dr Casey had a kidney removed two years ago and said she could
understand why people travel to China for a transplant.

"What China will not tell you is that [the organ] may have come a Falun
Dafa practitioner," Dr Casey said.

She said that China needs to allow into the country independent
investigators to research the organ harvesting allegations, including
Amnesty International who is barred from China.

Marie Leadbetter, from the Indonesia Human Rights Commission, said
everyone would benefit if Falun Gong, the Burmese people, the people of
Darfur and the Tibetans worked more closely together.

"One of the reasons that we are not making progress on human rights in
this is because we didn't work together often enough," she said.

Ms Leadbetter said China's slogan for the Olympics 'One China – One
Dream' was inappropriate as the human rights abuses continue in the
lead-up to the games.

Representative from the Taiwanese community, Gui Seng Yang, said China
should not be allowed to host the Olympics.

"Do you know when every stadium is built in China, how many people lose
their homes? They have lost their homes without compensation," he said.

Green Party MP Keith Locke said the torch relay was very important for
all groups suffering human rights abuses under communist China.

"This is a relay for freedom. Not only in China, but around the world,"
he said.

Green MP Nandor Tanczos welcomed the Human Rights Torch Relay in
Hamilton as it reached there following the Auckland ceremony on Sunday.

He said the Chinese regime had promised to improve human rights in
China, but had actually intensified the persecution against dissident
groups.

"We must show the government of Beijing that the world will not be
fooled by their clean-up job.

"We demand human rights for all people in China and demand them now," he
said.

The Torch will travel to Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington,
Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Cook,
Neslon, Napier and Gisborne, before leaving for Los Angeles on January 1.
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