The African Festival, which is well known way beyond the city limits of Würzburg, this time lasted from the 25th until the 28th of May. In spite of the bad weather, about 90,000 guests visited the festival. Reason for this enormous amount of visitors may have been the well known Miriam Makeba, aka "Mother Africa“ who officially performed her last concert in Germany.
Chief Mayor Dr. Pia Beckmann stated jokingly in her opening speech to the 18th African Festival in Würzburg, that the first strangers who came to Würzburg were killed. They were missionaries from Ireland. Since then, we have learned to treat our guests better. The people from Würzburg today are cosmopolitan and curious about other cultures.“ This was affirmed by the enormous amount of musicians, artists and almost thirty ambassadors, who arrived from all over Africa.
On the occasion of this event on Saturday and Sunday, we were able to elaborate and inform thousands of visitors at the African festival about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. We distributed flyers and collected many signatures for an appeal to Mrs. Merkel, asking that our Federal Government intensifies its commitment for human rights in China and the end of the persecution of Falun Gong.
Almost all the people were extremely distraught, sympathetic and helpful upon learning the facts that Falun Gong practitioners in China have not only been persecuted since July 1999, but also been tortured and killed. Yet indeed were also murdered for the purpose of organ trading and the removed organs were sold for profit to unsuspecting transplant recipients. People said that they felt helpless and stated that the people nowadays only think about money and that is the only reason why such tragedies can happen. Others could absolutely not understand how such an inhuman development could even have happened. China has already many years very intensive economic and political relations with Europe and seems actually very modern and westernised. Some people, especially from the the newly-formed German states on the other hand were not surprised at all and yet thought that torture and killing in communist countries is nothing new after all.
The larger part of all the interested Germans were of the opinion that our representatives of the people and the economy in general do not become involved enough regarding human rights in China. They expressed in agreement the desire that we Germans, in consideration of the current situation, should attempt to do more for human rights in China. Since communism in China is only a question of time, we therefore need to help those people even more.
Noticeably, many people bid us good bye with the words, "Good luck“!
Originally published in German at: http://www.clearharmony.de/articles/200605/31715.html
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