The Tragedy of Falun Gong Practitioners
HK Leader: HK to Watch Falun Gong Closely

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government will observe closely the activities of the Falun Gong in Hong Kong, Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa said Thursday.

Tung made the statement about Falun Gong in the Legislative Council, saying that the government will not allow anyone to abuse Hong Kong's freedoms and tolerance to affect public peace and order in the HKSAR, or public peace and order in the mainland.

Tung said "Last week, I saw on television the news report about a member of the Falun Gong who brought her daughter to Tiananmen Square to self-ignite. The mother believed that self-ignition would bring both of them to heaven. This resulted in a tragedy for the family. I was shocked by the incident. I certainly hope that such incidents will not happen in Hong Kong, and believe that the people of Hong Kong share this view."

He told the legislature that the HKSAR government has the responsibility to be alert and to follow developments closely.

"We should also be aware that certain developed countries have been affected by cults; some members of these cults undertake irrational behavior," he added.

He pointed out that it is the common interest of the mainland and Hong Kong for China to be able to develop in stability and harmony.

"If there is any instability in the mainland, Hong Kong's prosperity will be affected. It is the aspiration of the Chinese people that in the new century we should build on the foundation of the achievements made under the policies of opening up and reform, so as to further national progress. Accordingly, we have a common responsibility to protect the overall interest of the country and of Hong Kong," he said.

"Hong Kong is a peaceful and free society which subscribes to the rule of law. I emphasize that we will stand firmly by our constitutional principles and the rule of law," he said.

"We will implement the Basic Law faithfully, protect the 'Two Systems' under 'One Country', and maintain the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong and all the systems which are the foundation of Hong Kong's success," he said.

(Xinhuanet 02/08/2001)