Falungong in Singapore Calls for Probe on Self-Immolation
Followers of the Falungong spiritual movement in Singapore on Sunday called for an independent investigation into the death of a practitioner reported to have set himself on fire in Beijing.
Tian Moon Toon, chairman of the Falun Buddha Society in Singapore, accused the Chinese government of fabricating suicides of Falungong members to justify its crackdown on the group, outlawed in China as an "evil cult."
"We are extremely sad and shocked to hear the death of a Chinese citizen who was said to have set fire to himself in Beijing," Tian said in a statement.
He said there was no way to verify the man's background, adding that reports of his death were part of Beijing's attempt to "defame" the movement.
"We call for an independent investigation into this self-immolation incident," said the statement, which also called on the international community to help stop the crackdown on Falungong.
Though banned in China, Falungong is registered as a legal organisation in Singapore under the name Falun Buddha Society.
In Beijing on Saturday, China's official press accused exiled Falungong spiritual leader Li Hongzhi of duping followers of the mystical group into committing self-immolation.
The leading People's Daily carried a front-page editorial entitled "Nirvana means slaughter" and accused Li of instructing a 25-year-old shoe-polisher, Tan Yihui, to commit suicide by setting himself on fire in Beijing on Friday.
On January 23, five alleged Falungong practitioners figured in a mass suicide attempt in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. One woman died – SINGAPORE (AFP)
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