We were shocked and distressed over the incident in which the Hong Kong government brutally raided the refugees in the Whitehead detention camp. Master was especially sick at heart. In order to support their pursuit of democratic ideal, and especially to emphasize to the world on the importance of having peace and compassion, master gave instructions for all disciples to hold worldwide retreats jointly, and also launched a signature campaign on "Protesting the violent and ruthless repatriation of the Vietnamese refugees." The disciples held a one-week retreat as the "Vietnamese refugee Week" to pray for the refugees. Meanwhile, Master wrote the "Congratulation Letter" to the Governor of Hong Kong, the United Nations and other head of concerned nations; She instructed the Hong Kong fellows to hold press conference immediately, and rushed back to Hong Kong from Korea to attend a legislative meeting to present evidences, etc. All these efforts were rewarded by favorable responses as the Legislators initiated investigations, the Hong Kong government and the Governor began to admit mistakes, and the news media all over the world rushed to interview Master to report the truth.
To all Quan Yin brothers and sisters Hong Kong 7 April 1994
Ref: VN Refugees
Lately the poor and helpless victims of civil war "boat people" have suffered and are suffering greatly due to the oppressive repatriation policy. Government like Philippines and Hong Kong... use even big body of army which should only prepare for war to suppress the refugee's helpless and peaceful hunger strike to voice their plea for a safer corner in the big "free world".
Despite our repeated effort through letters and negotiations to offer an unconditional financial up keep of these unfortunate people from our own resources, there is no concrete result up to now!
My heart aches and my tears keep falling for these people as much as for other unfortunate and suffering in the world.
This week, with your support, we should make a world wide retreat in every center to meditate for these helpless victims especially - make it a VN Refugee's Week and continue if possible, either at the center or at home.
Those who cannot attend fully can come when convenient such as morning and evening. Most important is your sincere and true love to elevate the suffering of mankind which is inflicted needlessly upon each other. And the VN refugees are only the representatives of all the victims of God's opposing force and man's folly, which makes brother kill brother and treat each other as stranger or enemy.
Together we pray not only for the Refugees but for a better world and a more loving brotherly atmosphere on our planet. We try our best and whatever happens, pray that it is God's will!
To:The Governor Chris Patten,
The United Nation in Geneva, New York, Hong Kong, and other camps and the heads of thirty two nations involved etc...
April 11, 1994 (Originally in English)
You have repeatedly refused and ignored our humanitarian unconditional offer to help financially and economically to our brothers and sisters with all kind of accusations and excuses at the expense of Vietnamese refugees' lives and dignity! It seems you are successful again in convincing your own conscience about all the clever tricks and the "noble" things you did to the helpless victims of Viet Nam war. (Thanks to the media report for taking the risk to let the world know about this. Some journalists even risked their lives and got injured)
You had looked on while they killed themselves to prove their sincerity and noble purpose.
You had sent even thousands men troupes to frighten and injure these feeble victims who fled to YOUR FEET for REFUGE. Your goodself and the English government are panicking that 1997 the China Communist'll take over Hong Kong, but send the poor refugees back to the similar or worse regime.
Your armed force last week, thousand strong including helicopters, submarines and tanks as well as all kinds of weapon etc... have been successfully "retaken" the peaceful detention camps with "minimum" force. People said for a long time they didn't see such a spectacular oppressing operation. Some people even think that you have prepared enough for a big war. You really are the genius of all strategists.
You locked the refugees inside the detention camps with high walls and barbed wires already, where else can they go? How can they fight you? With bare hands and undernourished strength? And they were mostly a bund of old people, women and children anyway. Fantastic! Even the most hardboiled boxer who is for money only, would bow before this kind of "dignity" which you grant the Vietnamese refugees "equal fight". Your "noble" victory will forever written in the history of the world. And more important in the tabernacle of God.
Yes! God is watching all this and more. We might have forgotten Him, but He does not forget us, He will not forget those who inflict suffering needlessly on His children.
The people even nailed Jesus, but they paid for it, if not now then, in the day of final Judgement "Vengeance belongs to Me!"
We planned a retreat week to pray for the Vietnamese refugees. But now we pray for you and for the world, so that God will not send His wrath upon you and your subjects. Because we learnt in the Holy Bible that God even punished a whole nation just because King David inflict suffering upon one family and separate husband and wife.
Now that the refugees issues involved so many families. Alas!! We are fearful that our praying power will not be adequate. We do not fear for the refugees anymore, because the worst would be that they are forced back to Viet Nam. And we cannot imagine that there they will be treated worse than here in the great "free world".
In Tien-an-men Square the Chinese troup chased young able bodies student in the open field where they can run and hide. In detention camp the poor Vietnamese victims can only climb to the roof, still with clever tricks and weapons you still can bring them down, in tears and blood!
You make Tien-an-men Square insignificance compare to your last "victory" in the detention camps.
You have been successful in driving home the message that it's better in Viet Nam under Communism!
You made Communist look more righteous and human now compare to the "free world" since they only oppress those who against them on their ideal.
But here, in the "free world", those who have the same ideal who love "freedom" are suppressed by all "civilized" manner and tricks.
We would love to go inside the camp with your "grand Blessing" to tell all the Vietnamese refugees to go home. What difference does it make under what name Hell is written! People like your goodself surely go to church with all pomp and dignity but might have forgotten "not to oppress strangers for thou art strangers too in the Land of Egypt."
We do hope that you all go to Heaven because there is no war no "so called" refugees there so that you don't have to be burdened and work so hard to "deal" with them. We do hope that all Vietnamese refugees go home quickly and do not let the people of the world know much more of the "real face" of the good "free government".
They are deemed guilty by all means if they do not go "Home", because you will not have to see women and children suffer forced repatriation to the point of burning themselves or using other kinds of commit suicide, and you'll have to use more noble lies, nice tricks and army-munitions to incure further injuries to their bodies and mind; thus further damage your reputation with the world and with the Kingdom of God.
Indeed they are guilty if they do not swim the ocean and go "Home" right now! Alas! Their guilt are already too many! We name here just a few:
Well, we would like to report to you about how we would finance these poor victims anywhere you place them and train them to be useful if necessary, all unconditional and none have to pay anything, and we would disappear as soon as they can stand on their dignified feet without any reward or anything from the capital that we invested.
But all these you have read already in our repeated letters in the last few years, so we will not waste your precious time any longer. You are very very busy we know! What with new business opportunity in Viet Nam; and good political relationship with Vietnamese government. If you could drag these feeble human bodies back there for them to "deal" with; to show your good will even though all of you know how they are treated there!
We said "human bodies" because that's what they are if thrown back to the Hell they once fled. They will be "dead", in Hope and in emotion, to both the Communism and to the free world.
We congratulate the Vietnamese refugees too, for the bloodied lessons they learnt from the "free and loving Lords" of their refuge! Again, congratulation
fellow meditation practitioners & humanitarian friends around the world
P.S. Despite of all what happened we still pray that due to the humanitarian reason you will let us help those helpless victims of war (the first refugees since over 4 thousands years of Viet Nam history.)
The Letter Answer From The Governor Of Hong Kong Apr. 13, 1994 (Originally in English)
I refer to your letter of 12 April 1994 to the Governor and am authorized to reply it on his behalf.
There is absolutely no truth whatsoever in the allegation that unnecessary force such as those described in your letter was used to effect the transfer of Vietnamese migrants from the whitehead Detention Center to High Island Detention Center.
An incident, however, did occur in the course of a transfer exercise involving about 200 to 300 Vietnamese migrants who refused to be transferred to another camp. Efforts to persuade them to co-operate with the Camp Management failed and tear-gas was therefore used to restore law and order in the camp.
As regards your generous offer to make a donation towards the daily upkeep and maintenance of the Vietnamese migrants in our camp, I have already replied to you in a separate letter of today's date that you should contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees direct.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that there can be no question of Vietnamese migrants, who have already been determined to be non-refugees (Note: This is porbably a typograghical error by the secretary of the Governor's Office. It should have been "those who hold the status of refugees". In the next issue, we will continue to publish the letters of refusal by the Governor's Office.) being allowed permanent resettlement in Hong Kong. Under the Comprehensive Plan of Action, all screened-out Vietnamese migrants must return to Vietnam. Since March 1989, over 40,000 Vietnamese migrants have returned home from Hong Kong either voluntarily or under the Orderly Repatriation Programme agreed between the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Vietnamese Governments and there has not been a single substantiated case of persecution or discrimination.
Eddy CHAN for secretary for security
Note: According to news repoerts afterwards, it was proven that the
corresponding letter by the Governor did not state the truth. (See Page 119-123 for related reports) These pictures showed the evidence of the refugees in the camp injured by the tear gas that day.
A Lowered Figure Of Casualties Announced
For The Forcible Relocation Of
Boat People With Tear Gas Grenades
The Governor Apologizes On Behalf Of The Correctional Department
(Special report by our press) Within 24 hours, the Hong Kong Government has issued 2 versions of the casualty figures in the operation to relocate some of the Whitehead boat people. The day before yesterday, they announced that only 29 boat people were injured. It was confirmed yesterday that 270 boat people were hurt. Also, they claimed two days ago that they had used only 250 tear gas grenades, but yesterday they admitted to having discharged more than 500.
The higher administration of the Hong Kong Government is furious about the negligence of the Correctional Department and the way that they had misled the public. Governor Chris Patten and the Administrative Secretary Fang An Seng Chen adjured the Security Department to expedite the investigation of the facts, which they revealed publicly last evening.
Governor Chris Patten confirmed yesterday that wrong figures had been provided for the number of casualties and the number of tear gas grenades used during the operation at the Whitehead camp, and that it was the responsibility of the Government to admit their mistakes. Volunteer organizations helping the boat people claim that they will assist the injured boat people to obtain compensation from the Hong Kong Government.
Jia Peng Bai, the representative of a volunteer group working for the boat people in the camp, reproached the government for deliberately hiding the details and the number of boat people injured in the Whitehead camp incident last Thursday. They plan to help the boat people to demand, through legal channels, compensation from the Government for the damage done to them.
Jia Peng Bai of the “Care For The Refugees” said that at least 6 boat people were seriously injured in Section 7 that day. They were sent to the Prince of Wales Hospital. A pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage. A 6 year old boy who was severely burnt was among those hospitalized. Jia Peng Bai said that the Correctional Department had used a new type of tear gas grenade that day. Apart from being more effective, they can also induce grave side effects to the respiratory system, and cause greater burns to the skin on contact. He also said that many boat people are still coughing continuously, after having been affected by the tear gas a week ago.
He quoted the descriptions by some witnesses and boat people: More than 50 tear gas grenades were shot into the barrack area, where more than 1,500 boat people were living. Most of them were sleeping women and children. According to witnesses, the police beat the boat people, and hurt many children by kicking them. Most of the children were in shock through fear.
Groups complain against violent suppression in Whitehead operation. Asprey admits "misleading intelligence received", and insufficient assessment of situation.
[Information by Express News] When answering the queries by councilors on the Security Panel meeting in the Legislative Council yesterday, the Secretary of Security Mr. Asprey admitted that no resistance by the boat people was encountered in the suppression operation of the Whitehead detention center by the police on April 7. Refugee concerning groups revealed on the meeting accusations by the boat people against the authority's unjustified use of armed force, which included the use of Mace Gas and Pepper Fog. Councilors expressed their doubts and concern in this incident.
On the meeting, refugee concerning groups accused the government for misusing armed force. They also criticized the UNHCR for deploying only one observer who only observed from a distance, instead of playing the role of an independent monitor.
Representative of the Australian lawyer group Mr. Robert Brook said that, according to more than a hundred letters sent to them by the boat people in Section 7 of Whitehead camp, there are many doubtful points in the suppression operation that day. He urges the authority to launch an open hearing on this matter, and protect the witnesses during the hearing period, guarantee that they won't be repatriated in the mean time.
Robert Brook accused the authority for using force systematically, as they didn't conduct any proper negotiation to avoid using force. He said that the refugees' letters unanimously accused the police for discharging the first round of tear gas shells before notifying them of the relocation, and without any advance warning. The Correctional Department defended that they have explained to the refugees for twentyeight minutes trying to convince them. Robert Brook maintain that this time was not enough, because the refugees were sleeping when the operation commenced in six o'clock in the morning. There should be a longer time for negotiation.
Robert Brook also criticized the Hong Kong UNHCR. They received advance notice from the authority, but they took no action. They sent only one representative who speaks neither Chinese nor Vietnamese to observe the operation from a distance. He virtually didn't know what was happening at the scene, nor could he understand what the people there was saying.
Refugees Complaint About
Representative of the Concern for Refugees organization Mr. Robert Stewart said that, besides from using the announced tear gas to suppress the refugees, the authority also used the Mace sprayed gas. Sprayed within sixteen inches, this poisonous gas could induce burn, painful eyes, and temporary blindness on people.
He said that some boat people is still having rashes on their face, swollen eyes, or eye irritation. This is the result of this poisonous gas used by the authority. Some children even fainted because of this gas.
Another representative of the Concern for Refugees organization Carly Durin said they have also received report from boat people accusing the police of using pepper sprayers spraying at their faces, and threw tear gas at them. This is a serious case.
She said that tear gas should only be used in emergencies. However, the boat people were only having a peaceful gathering in the open space inside the compound. As the tear gas shells were aimed at their eyes and faces, they could only climb on to the roofs. There was even one woman who couldn't come down by herself.
Concerning the weapons self-made by the refugees found by the authority in Section 7, Robert Stewart insisted that the main point is no weapon had ever been found on the body of any refugee, not even a orange peeling knife. Although more than a hundred weapons were said to be found in the raid by the Correctional Department, the boat people of Section 7 strongly denied the accusation. He doubted the origin of these weapons.
[Special report by our press] The Secretary of Security, Mr.Asprey
admitted that the relocation operation by the police and UNHCR officers
at the Whitehead detention center on April 7 didn't receive strong
resistance as expected. Neither was there any violent resistance
incurring bodily confrontation.
When up to 100 officers from the Correctional Services Department (CSD) burst into section seven of the camp they sprayed many of the Au Lacese in the face, sources said last night. A six-year-old boy was among those sprayed in the eyes, and the face of a woman, seen at the weekend, was covered in red blotches 10 days after the raid.
Mace, a form of tear-gas, causes temporary blindness and, if sprayed in the face at distances of less than 180 centimeters, can permanently injure victims.
The use of Mace is the latest in a series of revelations about the police and CSD operation to move 1,500 boat people to High Island in an attempt to restore order to Whitehead.
Last week the Government admitted there were at least 250 casualties, not one as originally stated, and that 557 canisters of tear-gas were fired, more than double the early estimates, backed by a “pepper-fog” machine which also sprayed tear-gas.
One man said in a letter, “They sprayed Mace in our faces, at old people, women and children, “our faces were smarting, burning. Children were screaming and crying.”
The first wave of officers into section seven is believed to have consisted of scores of CSD guards and police.
Some of the officers were not wearing gas masks and the detainees recognized several CSD guards, camp sources said.
In the confusion that followed, the boat people scattered and some had to rinse their faces with saliva, sources said.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch Asia, formerly Asia Watch, has written to Patten accusing the Government of abusing human rights.
Force may not have been necessary because the asylum seekers were protesting peacefully, the organisation's executive director, Sidney Iones, said in his letter.
One legislator, Chirsitine Loh, said after the meeting she was not satisfied with the Government's account of the operation in which more than 270 Au Lacese people were injured and 557 rounds of tear-gas fired, in addition to the use of Mace and a “pepper-fog” tear-gas spraying machine. She called for any police video-of the event to be shown to legislators to help reveal all the facts of the operation on April 7, which is attracting accusations of a cover-up and is the subject of an independent inquiry.
Legislators will this morning grill the men who ordered the dawn raid on Whitehead detention center by 1,200 police and prison officers armed with Mace and tear-gas.
More than 250 Au Lacese boat people were injured in the raid.
Last night, a government spokesman said the total number of Au Lacese who sought treatment for injuries sustained in the raid stood at 272, and not one, as originally claimed. The spokesman said 73 complaints about unnecessary use of force during the operation had been received. There is understood to be anger among several members of the Legislative Council's security panel that disturbing facts about the operation, such as the use of Mace on children as revealed in yesterday's Eastern Express are still emerging, nearly two weeks after the operation, despite government briefings and statements. There legislators, Christine Loh, James To and Zachary Wong, visited High Island detention center at the weekend to see some of the 1,500 people moved from Whitehead on April 7, but it is understood that even they have not been told all the details.
By Fellow Initiate Yu in Hong Kong
On Wednesday, April 13, 1994, Master held a press conference at the Viceroy Restaurant in the Sun Hung Kei Center in downtown Hong Kong. She announced that She would unconditionally offer all of Her possessions, with Her boundless compassion, to help the Au Lac refugees, so that they can maintain their refugee status and avoid the specter of compulsory repatriation.
The meeting commenced at 3:00 p.m. sharp. More than thirty local and foreign reporters, news teams from TV stations and journalists arrived very early, and were reading the material distributed to them. The spotlights concentrated on Master's photograph on the stage, and the topic of the meeting written in both Chinese and English. Besides the fellow practitioners assigned with jobs or posted as guards at the scene, most of the local fellow initiates took leave from their work, or put down their worldly appointments to join the event.
When Master arrived, She cordially greeted and shook hands with each reporter, which made them feel very welcomed. The atmosphere was warm and harmonious. Master started answering questions as soon as She sat down.
As the Hong Kong Government and the UNHCR have been treating the refugees under heavy concealment, the outside world knows very little about the bitterness of the refugees, and the management's methods regarding human rights, education, nutrition, medication, the refugee status screening process, etc. Reporters and caring groups are not allowed to investigate. Veiled by this poor transparency, the reporters, just like ordinary citizens, have little concern or are even oblivious to the whole situation. The information available to the reporters, and their views, are usually based on the official material issued to them by the authorities. Therefore, at first, they were rather surprised and puzzled by Master's answers. After Master explained repeatedly to them, with love and patience, they began to gain a better understanding. Master answered all sorts of questions, in either English or Mandarin, for about forty-five minutes. After the conference, Master had dinner with the fellow practitioners and guests. Then She returned to the Tien Shan Ashram to rejoin the Worldwide Retreat, and spoke to fellow practitioners.
After the conference, everybody from the news media was very pleased to receive a large and fine "Quan Yin Method gift packet". Some of them called afterwards to express their gratitude and appreciation. On the next day, many newspapers published the details of this conference in prominent positions. Master even personally directed the rectification of some misleading reports in the newspapers.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai's Whole-hearted Contribution Pocket Clearance for Refugee Relieving
By The Supreme Master Ching Hai meditation association Hong Kong
The United Nation High Commissioner for the Refugees have decided to repatriate all the Au Lac boat people and the screened refugees back to Au Lac at regular intervals. This decision causes strong repercussions at the refugee camps in Hong Kong, Philippines and other countries. Many Au Lac people in the refugee camps lodge their protest in different ways such as hunger strike, sit-in and even committing suicide one after another.
At the end of March and in the beginning of April, thousand of Au Lac refugees of three detention centers (including High Island, Whitehead and Tai Ah Chau) successively went on protest and hunger strike. There were even cases of self-hurting and committing suicide and over thirty people were brought to hospital for emergency treatment. Even though the boat people problem is a heavy burden and also day by day, this agony should not be ignored in view of the humanity aspect.
In fact, at the beginning of March, several volumes of news reports had been broadcasted by HKTVB concerning the refugee problems. These show us that the policy of force repatriation within an unilaterally adopted time limit has made a damage on the issue of international ethics and the actual situation of refugees.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai has recently received a "World Spiritual Leadership Award" in Chicago, also the day 22nd February was designated "The Supreme Master Ching Hai Day" by the six Midwest States in the United States. In order to stop the refugees from going on their desperate protest which caused them injuries and sometimes cost them their lives when facing the deprivation of their rights as refugees, She went to Philippines and then Hong Kong, and made contact with the various authorities concerned. Master Ching Hai proposes that She is willing to offer the refugees food and basic living expenses every month unconditionally. In Philippines, Her suggestion has already been presented to the President Ramos. During Her stay, the Supreme Master Ching Hai had also received awards from the Guiller Momendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation of Manila and the hospitality of various government officers senates...
Some days ago, the Supreme Master Ching Hai left Philippines for Hong
Kong to go on a succession of related activities. On the 28th of March,
a letter was sent to the Governor of Hong Kong with Her suggestion - Her
willingness to offer money unconditionally, and hoping that his can
alleviate the issue concerned.
A press conference will be held today with details of the Supreme Master Ching Hai's suggestion to be given and questions answered will be given to all circles.
Time: 13th April 1994 3-5p.m.
Venue:Viceroy of India (Ship B, 2nd Floor,
Sun Hung Kai Center, 30 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel:827 7777)
Contact Person:11000 2373 Mr. Yu or 846 1071 Ms. Shara Ng
[Special report by our press]
An international meditation association yesterday entreated the Government to respect the will of the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong, and temporarily suspend the compulsory repatriation project, so as to ease the strong protest of the refugees. This organization volunteered to launch an "Empty pocket to save the refugees" scheme, and fully support the daily expenditure of the refugees in Hong Kong until the Western countries accepted all the refugees. However, the above proposal has been declined by the Hong Kong Government.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai, responsible person of the meditation association pointed out on a press conference yesterday, after the UNHCR decided to repatriate continuously all the Au Lac refugees detained abroad, there are radical reactions in the refugee camps in Hong Kong, Philippine and other places.
She said that to help the Au Lac refugees in exile finding a suitable place of abode soon, their Association, in these few years, has been writing letters to the United Nations and many governments. These included the government of the Philippines and Hong Kong where most of the refugees are detained. These letters proposed a temporary suspension of the forced repatriation of the refugees, while their Association volunteered to launch an "Empty pocket to save the refugees" scheme, providing full support to the daily expenditure of the refugees detained all over the world, until some countries would accept them. Unfortunately, all governments included the Hong Kong Government turned down their proposal. No reasonable explanation has been given.
She continued to say that their Association has about five to six million U.S. Dollars now. If the Hong Kong Government would accept the above offer, their Association will first provide about five million U.S. Dollars subsidizing the living expense of the refugees in Hong Kong, followed by a monthly amount of 300,000 to 500,000 U.S. Dollars until all the refugees migrated to other countries. She stressed that, if this scheme could be launched successfully, the followers of their Association all around the world are willing to support with donations.
How Are You Going To Face Your Conscience" ================================================ Master Testified At The Security Panel of
The Hong Kong Legislative Council
---By Fellow Initiate Zhou in Hong Kong
After the brutal suppression by the Hong Kong Government at the Whitehead Refugee Camp on April 7, the fellow practitioners in Hong Kong acted according to Master's instructions. We told the news media and Councilors about the unnecessary bitter oppression to the Au Lac refugees by the camp authority, and extended our concern about such violence.
The Hong Kong fellows succeeded to secure seats in the Legco Security Panel hearing as community witnesses. This panel is specially set up for the investigation of the appropriateness of the deployment of the Government forces deployment during the relocation operation of the Au Lac refugees in Whitehead Camp on April 7, 1994.
Four seats were allocated to us in the panel as witnesses. We asked Master to appoint personnel to attend. Immediately, Master announced that She would personally attend the panel as witness.
When Master came back to Hong Kong again, She looked very anxious. On the way back to the Shatin Ashram, Master said She could strongly feel the pressure and agony of the Au Lac boat people. Although She was not entirely clear about the details of the suppression, the sense of urgency made Her restless for many days, and She was near mentally fatigued. On Sunday (April 17) fellow initiates visited the boat people transferred from Shatin Whitehead to the Man Yee Camp, and obtained a narration of the incident from them. Hearing the report, Master was even more definite about the correctness of Her views in the letter addressed to the Hong Kong Governor and the United Nations, which was written on April 12. There was more concrete supportive evidences now.
On the day of the hearing, Master set off very early although She had hardly slept. While waiting for Her turn, Master attentively listened to the other witnesses testimony against the brutal actions taken by the special task force on April 7.
When it came to Master's turn, unlike other witnesses, Master didn't concentrate on blaming the Government for their brutal actions. Instead, She explained to the Councilors with the highest truth, the errors committed by Hong Kong, and tried to wake up their conscience. Master also expressed Her intention: She is prepared to give all Her money to support the boat people. She also gave a brief account of how She has strived to find any country which would accept the boat people.
Master demonstrated Her supreme wisdom in answering on the spot, all questions raised by the Councilors. There we observed how Master turned Her wrath into power, releasing all Her accumulated anxiety, agitation and grudges at the right moment, which formed an enormous impact, rousing the conscience of the Councilors present.
Master produced some letters provided by the Au Lac refugees describing the incident, and particularly demanded the Councilors to conceal the names of the writers. After Her testimony, Master returned to Her seat in the audience section, and continued listening carefully to the testimony of other people. Throughout the entire hearing, Master listened to all the dialogues with high concentration. She even jotted down some vital points neglected by the Councilors, and told us to hand the notes to them, so that they could understand the facts better, and ask more precise questions.
When the Secretary of Security Department of Hong Kong, Mr. Aspray (Officer responsible for the operation), was about to leave after his testimony, Master stood up and questioned him, "It was bad enough for you to use tear gas! Why did you order to beat people up? Why all this brutality?" Who can tolerate seeing brothers and sisters hurt without reason?
On the evening after the hearing, Master got rid of Her emotional agitations that had lasted for more than a week, and responded to the interview by a radio station with Her usual sense of humor.
The following is part of Master's speech at the Legco hearing:
Master: ...And I do not understand why the government does not accept our proposal unconditionally. We do not say that the government should let the Au Lac people stay here. But just slowly, so that we can find a third country, maybe a cheaper country so we can afford to bring them there and take care of them, and train them until they become useful citizens all over the world.
Have You been in touch with the government to offer any assistance?
Master: Yes madam, we have written to the Government and the UNHCR, as well as some of those concerned in this matter, expressing our view, that we could not understand this. This matter now doesn't concern the Au Lac refugees alone, because as far as I am concerned, even if they go back to Au Lac, I don't think they would get treated worse. So it concerns much the Au Lac refugees, but it is not as relevant as it concerns our reputation as a free world.
We spend thousands of millions, of billions of dollars to fight communism. You say they are not suitable for our world. And yet we send these people, our comrades who have the same ideal, who just ask for freedom, who run to our feet for refuge, for protection, and we treat them just like enemies. And why is that, you know? This is our reputation, the free world, not the Au Lac refugees'. They are poor, they have had their say already. I don't think the government thinks of them as human beings anyhow, so we don't even need to talk about it. We can talk about us. How can we face our conscience? How can we answer to the whole world? What kind of treatment, what kind of civilized people can do this to children and women?
As many councilors present were interested in Master's proposal, Master explained part of Her project later.
From branch centers over the world
Complied by resident disciples in Hsihu, Miaoli, Formosa
<< When Master's letter to all disciples was being read out, knowing Master was weeping in agony for the refugees, many fellow initiates in the meditation hall cried mournfully. They didn't even want to take their meals. All they wished was to meditate sincerely and seriously, and pray that the refugees and all the unfortunate people in the world could receive the compassion and care of God. >>
Supporting the Refugee Week seven-day retreat called up by Master, the fellow initiates in Paris, France joined the meditation by entering the meditation hall silently at the time convenient to individuals each day. Those who could not come would meditate at home. Irrespective of nationality, they sincerely prayed God to bestow the Au Lac refugees with His best arrangement.
Knowing that the refugees are being brutally oppressed, the fellow initiates in Oxford meditated together praying for God's blessing, rendering an early and perfect solution to the refugee problem. Some fellows were very busy in the day time, but they would join the group meditation at the branch center in the evening. Some even meditated over night. Concerned about the refugees, fellow initiates and would-be initiates alike send many signed letters supporting the course of the refugees, to the authorities in the United Nations, Hong Kong and New York, etc. This action was earnestly supported by everyone.
The Singapore branch center informed each fellow in the shortest time about the news of the Au Lac Refugee Week Retreat. Earnestly they prepared for the retreat. The group meditation was conducted in several sessions. The last one had the greatest attendance. The branch center was exceedingly packed, and the atmosphere was compassionate and warm. The response to this seven-day retreat shows that fellow practitioners do support Master's instructions wholeheartedly. They understand Master's feeling for all entities of Creation are one, and that other's sufferings are our sufferings. With great sincerity, they prayed to God to deliver the refugees from their distressful situation quickly by His almighty power.
In Taipei, Formosa, the international seven-day retreat was held at the Pamirs Park in Yang Min Mountain. Early morning or late at night, be it raining or fine, fellow practitioners kept climbing up the hill to meditate. Hearing the bad news of the refugees, many people shed tears, feeling upset for the ill fate of the Au Lac refugees. Wishing to do something for them, fellows eagerly took the thousands "Congratulation Letters" to be signed and sent them to the United Nations and Hong Kong Government. Attendance of the group meditation at the Pamirs Park also kept increasing. Thousands of people joined the retreat in these few days.
Within several days, the Taichung fellows despatched thousands of letters appealing to the appropriate international agencies to help solve the problem of the Au Lac refugees. They sincerely wished that the refugees would be more patient, let Master's blessing and the grace of God bring them a desirable answer and outcome.
As the Nan Tou branch center has no ashram of their own, the venue for the group meditation was provided by a fellow disciple. Having to go to work, some fellows could only join in the morning or evening. The diligent ones, unwilling to waste the precious retreat, rushed to the group meditation when they went off duty in the evening, and then slept there over night. Early in the morning, they started meditation again, and then rushed to work. Master's power is infinite and incredible. It is not impossible to solve the refugee problem. However, to develop our love, Master held this retreat. We must always comprehend intuitively Master's painstaking teachings, so that we mature quickly.
After this worldwide retreat, the Penghu initiates could meditate more stably and earnestly. They truly appreciate the benefit of Master's teaching "helping others is helping ourselves". Realizing that many fellow initiates were meditating at the same time all around the world, they were more confident of a peaceful solution to the situation of the Au Lac refugees. They trust more people in the world would support the Au Lac refugees on humanitarian grounds.
The Taitung fellows who had to go to work were very grateful for Master's merciful understanding in giving them so much flexibility and convenience. All initiates sincerely squeezed out time to meditate. Some meditated over night. Unanimously, they wished to support Master with their meditation, and convert the inhuman and brutal atmosphere.
Most Ilan fellow initiates join the group meditation at the branch center every night. Some even took a few days' leave, and stayed at the ashram. They all sincerely hoped that their effort in these few days could be of some help to the refugees. They also wished the world's situation would become more peaceful, and the unfortunate things would change for the better.
Branch centers in all places including many States in the USA, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Finland etc., supported the Au Lac Refugee Week. They meditated and redirect their merits to the refugees, wishing the best blessing for them.
Love And Care For The Refugees Of The Era
By Fellow Initiates Chen And Lee in Tainan, Formosa
When receiving Master's instruction of holding the Au Lac Refugee Week, the Tainan branch center had everything ready within a very short time. Immediately established were the guards group, kitchen group, arts group, scriptures group....The ashram transformed over night for this ordinary yet uncommon international seven-day retreat.
During the group meditation, we played the video tape recording Master's toilsome pleading for the refugees in the Philippines. A fellow sister gave a detailed illustration of the tape. Fellows realized the hardships Master's has gone through for the refugees, and they were sorry for being unable to share Master's worries and work. When they saw the refugees crying mournfully, they felt the same sadness and their hearts seemed broken suddenly. The Au Lac refugees are physically confined, but not their longing to flee to the free world. Now, even their hope for freedom has vanished! Watching the refugees pressed against the fence, unwilling to part with Master, it seems that their last hope for liberty is gone with the Master's departure. We couldn't help thinking, isn't it ironical that the organizations who use to propagate democracy and free human rights are so untouched this time? Upon thinking this, fellow practitioners were heartbrokened by the senseless war and unfair treatment in the world.
When Master's letter to all disciples was being read out, we knew that She was weeping in agony for the refugees. Many fellow initiates cried mournfully in the meditation hall. They couldn't even take their meals. All they wished was to meditate sincerely and seriously, and prayed that God would have mercy on, and care for the refugees and unfortunate people in the world.
All initiates treasured this opportunity and meditated with their utmost sincerity in the retreat. Some even expedited their working schedule, earnestly longing to dash to the ashram with their highest speed to join the seven-day retreat. Each evening, the ashram arranged transport for fellow initiates coming to the retreat. We all felt the tranquility and peace in the ashram, being flooded with Master's love and blessing. An elderly fellow sister is very grateful to Master for this retreat, in which she has a rich harvest. During the retreat, she could enter samadhi just as she closed her eyes. Several hours of meditation passed like a flash. She was much surprised, and knew that it was the extra blessing power from Master during the seven-day retreat.
In this Refugee Week, fellow practitioners kept praying that the world would give more care and love to the refugees of the era left in a forgotten corner. Fellows understand that, being an element of the world, we should try rousing the true compassion in people with our best sincerity, to have a peaceful world and harmonious universe.
A Wish Comes True
By Fellow Initiate Lin in Tainan, Formosa
After Master's departure, several retreats were held, but I could not
attend due to financial difficulties. I felt ashamed when observing the
elevation and growth of those fellow initiates who followed and assisted
in Master's overseas lecture, and listening to the experience they
gained through their work. I earnestly hope to assist Master's
I also prayed to Master to help me to go to the retreats. I even pledged to myself - One day I would help Master, to lighten Her burden working for this world. After the retreat in Lai Yi, I said to myself, "Master, how wonderful it is to be in retreat everyday, to be intoxicated in the atmosphere of spiritual practice!" Soon afterwards, Master indeed made my wish comes true with this seven-day retreat, also by helping out enthusiastically in the field of lecture books, news, art, guard on duty and even the kitchen!
>By Fellow Initiate Peng in Hsinchu, Formosa
My heart ached as the liaison fellow announced the Master's message. Immediately, I decided to find time to stay in the center. The news of the Au Lac refugees led to a deep sorrow in me. In this world, there are still people struggling for their existence like the flickering candles in the wind. They utilized all their money, left their beloved homeland, encountered countless hardships. They thought they found an asylum, but it is just another jail. Yet, soon they will be deprived of this limited freedom even. The ironical part being it is not the communist driving these people into desperation, but a free world which they thought they could rely on. Isn't this a miserable joke? Writing to this point, I feel the agony within Master, and the ignorance in myself. If these few days can could eliminate some sufferings of the unfortunate people, then why should I hesitate?
By Fellow Initiate Yu in Hsinchu, Formosa
The international seven-day retreat was announced at the evening group meditation. I felt so sad after that. Those refugees behind the iron fence, the crying faces longing for help, reluctant to see Master leave; their agony and hope was all bore by this living Buddha. Consider how fortunate we are! For us, the international seven-day retreat only means extra hours of meditation, which also helps to improve ourselves in spiritually, and helps the peace of the world. After the end of this international retreat, we hope Master will not be in pain and tears again, and all miserable beings are liberated from the ocean of suffering.
By Fellow Initiate Yang in Hualien, Formosa
When the reason for holding the international retreat reached Hualien, there were bursts of painful emotion among the fellow initiates. The tears that Master shed and all the efforts She exerted for the refugees were relived before our eyes. Very soon, fellow initiates assembled in the center for meditation. Initially, it was held in the town center where traffic is convenient. In the following days, the group meditation was held at the ashram up the hill. An initiate fell asleep during meditation. As she woke up abruptly, she felt a deep self-reproach within herself. "How could I go to sleep at such an urgent time, when lives matter?" She refreshed herself and continued meditating diligently, thus improving greatly in the following days.
Many fellow initiates meditated in the morning and evening. Whenever they had time in between, they would dash between schools, offices and the meditation center. Nevertheless, they were full of vitality, and looked relaxed. Some initiates felt Master was always blessings them during the meditation. There are others who never meditated so early in the morning. Formerly, retreats were held at a fixed place. This time, they had to get up at dawn to meditate, walking on the dark streets in darkness. This is indeed a good training. From then on, they could make use of the wonderful early morning to meditate.
On April 7, 1994, the Hong Kong government brutally oppressed the Vietnamese refugees in the Whitehead detention center, using helicopters, armored tanks, marine cruisers and firing tear gas bombs. Despite the fact that many innocent people were injured and terrorized, the government tried to cover up the truth. We feel saddened that a democratic country is unable to sustain those who embrace the same ideal of democracy. We cannot consent to this kind of assault. We feel that we should respect the refugees' human rights, support their ideal of pursuing freedom and democracy. For those nations holding Vietnamese refugees at present, they should continue to care for them in a peaceful manner until another nation is willing to accept them, or until they are willing to voluntarily return to Vietnam, instead of using violence to forcibly repatriate them.
Since you and your organization have always upheld the noble ideal of humanitarianism, compassion, peace and love, we are asking you to please sign and place your organizational seal on this letter in support of the suffering refugees.
Thank you for your love.
P.S. After signing, please fax this letter to Formosa R.O.C. 886-37-922822, and then mail the original to the following address.
P.O. Box 9 Hsi Hu Miao Li, Formosa R.O.C.
By Mr. Hu in Taipei, Formosa
Dear Supreme Master,
A few days ago I learned from the newspaper that You donated ten garbage trucks worth over NT$2 million to the local government. One can see clearly that Your contribution to society is no less than that of Master Hsing Yun, and that both of you are just as great. Now I read from the United Daily News about the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong proclaiming that they would commit group suicide as they are totally unwilling to be repatriated. They also seek Your help. Of course, this is a very important matter. I believe that the people in Taiwan, the Republic of China, are not so indifferent that they would not extend a helping hand to the desperate people, especially since that they became refugees as a result of their opposition to Communism!
I had the intention a few years ago of suggesting to the Central Government of the Republic of China that if they were allowing foreign workers to come into the country, they should let the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong have top priority. However, due to many personal reasons and having heard no more about the anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong, I thought that the problem of the refugees in Hong Kong was solved.
Only today, when I read the newspaper, I unexpectedly learned that there are still over 20,000 anti-Communist refugees. I think that it is an undeniable duty of Taiwan, which claims itself to be a base for anti-Communism, an anti-Communist fortress, to save the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees. Especially when the Republic of China is now allowing the immigration of over 100,000 foreign workers, it should provide an opportunity for the anti-Communist refugees to work here. We humbly ask You to please entreat the refugees in Hong Kong not to carry out the group suicide by burning or disemboweling themselves, but to give the people in the Republic of China a chance to save them.
From this moment on, I shall began to campaign day and night so that the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees can come to work in Taiwan. With best wishes, I prostrate myself before You and remain
Your sincere student
Hu, Apr. 23, 1994
(Upon the next day we received a letter from Mr. Hu, the same letter was sent to the national party enclosed was report of the Refugee's condition.)
Dear Supreme Master,
On 23rd instant I read from the United Daily News about the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong, who are totally unwilling to be repatriated and proclaimed that they would commit group suicide. They also seek help from the Supreme Master Ching Hai from the Republic of China. Recently the Supreme Master Ching Hai, after having donated 10 garbage trucks worth more than NT$2 million to the local government, has generously promised to provide US$6 million (NT$150 million) to help the refugees to solve their present difficult situation. It is indeed moving to see that the Supreme Master, who had renounced the world, to forsake everything in order to save the refugees. From Her selfless Buddhist spirit one can easily see how great She is.
The issue concerning the refugees is a very momentous one, which we can trace in our history. Our revered late former President K. S. Cheung had promised to help Vietnam, at the critical time when it was fighting for its existence, by giving them US$50 million. Taking into account prices of thing in those days, that sum should worth about NT$50 or 60 billion nowadays. It was the greatest effort that Taiwan could exert, considering its economical situation at that time. Then, unfortunately, despite of all of the efforts to save Vietnam, it fell. Our late President Cheung also sank into a deep sorrow due to the failure of anti-Communism in Vietnam, and later passed away.
Today, it is proven that Communism does not go with the trend of the world. It is certain that victory belongs to those who fight against Communism, which will eventually perish.
A spiritual Master in a robe still insists to the end and help the anti-Communist refugees regardless. How can we, the Government of the Republic of China, lag behind? The Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong announced that they would commit group suicide by disemboweling or burning themselves on April 30th. Learning of this news makes us filled with endless sympathy for them and causes untold pain in our hearts. How can the people in Taiwan, Republic of China, be indifferent and not to help those who are desperate? This is not to mention that they became refugees as a result of their opposition to Communism.
I should have suggest to the Central Government of the Republic of China a long time ago that if we allow foreign workers to immigrate into the country, we must let the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong have top priority. Taiwan can employ 160,000 foreign workers (according to newspapers, there are 100,000 foreign workers in Taiwan at present), but it cannot accept 20,000 Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees as workers. This is truly regrettable. However, it is not too late to announce that we allow the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong to come to Taiwan as foreign workers. I think that it is an undeniable duty for Taiwan, who claims itself as a base to fight against Communism, an anti-Communist fortress, to save the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees, especially when we still need 60,000 foreign workers.
It had been reported in the newspapers that Vietnamese would be allow to come to work in Taiwan. Then the Vietnamese anti-Communist refugees in Hong Kong can also be counted as foreign workers, and why don't we immigrate them now? The move will achieve two purposes: It will fulfill our humanitarian responsibilities, and it will solve our labor shortage problem.
Most of the Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong are overseas Chinese who settled in Vietnam or of Chinese descendants. As they are about to commit group suicide, it is really hard for us just to watch our compatriots die with our eyes open.
When so many countries in the world are unwilling to help and trying to avoid facing the refugees problem, if we can stand out and solve the problem by letting the refugees come in as foreign workers, our nation's reputation and position in the world will be greatly increased or uplifted. It may even gain us the favors from other nations in the world and, possibly, an easy entry to the United Nations.
Some people may think that Taiwan is too small a place with too large a population. In fact, it is not so. If we are to fight against the Mainland China, it will not be enough if our population is increased ten fold. Now Taiwan has become rich, and some of the young people are not willing to work. All day long they simple wine, dine and make merry. If they were asked whether they are willing to immigrate to the Nansha Islands, to protect the southern territory of our country, some of them would probably replied, "I am immigrating to the U.S.A."
If we provide training and reasonable wages to the Vietnamese Chinese anti-Communist refugees, and with the protection from our Navy, they can exploit the tens of thousands of islands of the Nansha Islands for us. This also serves to guard against any invasion from the Communist Vietnam. In this way, the refugees can live in the weather that they are accustomed to. They will strive for themselves, and be loyal to the Republic of China. Then the Communist in Mainland cannot say that we are merely a local government. And the Republic of China will be known internationally that it is not just an island of Taiwan, but has thousands of islands.
My dear senior members of our party, please give this matter your consideration. These anti-Communist Vietnamese Chinese refugees are just what we need! Please allow them to come to work in Taiwan. Please use the power of the Government to quickly notify them, to entreat them to stop committing suicide!
** The original copy of this letter is presented to the Chief Secretary, Mr. Shiu-Te Hsu, and the four vice Chairmen of our party, while copies will be sent to other senior members of our party and those holding a position in the Government,1 as well as the Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Best Wishes Sincerely Yours Hu, member of the KMT party of the Republic of China Apr. 24, 1994
21 Apr.1994 (Originally in French & English)
Q: Master, 28 nations signed in Geneva a screening policy for forced
repatriation of the Au Lac refugees. Have you got any fairer solution
to protect them?
M: It's like this. Because the Au Lac refugees don't want to go back to Au Lac, so they tried to commit suicide. The Hong Kong government used the force to force them back to Au Lac. That's why I propose to give 5 to 6 million US dollars to help the refugees and each month, maybe about 500,000 US dollars.
Q: Master Ching Hai, what's the meaning of compassion? M: Human beings are born with loving hearts, therefore, we have the capability to love all. When we see the misfortunes and sufferings of others, we must help them. We must help them. It is very normal.
Q: Can you explain with more details about your program to help the Au
M: We can give all our money in cash, about 5 to 6 million dollars, and then we can ask the third country to accept the people. And then we can give them food and lodging and then train them, in different fields of jobs, and then make some kind of manufacture, or build some business enterprise to give them jobs. We finance them, finance all these projects until they can be independent, then they will work for themselves and we just disappear. After that, every month we also give about 300,000 to 500,000 US dollars cash to come in supporting this program so that it continues all the time until all the Au Lac refugees become independent and can take care of themselves.
Q: How can we prevent these people from committing suicide? M: It is not easy to do this. In different countries, in different camps, many people already committed suicide, many people already died, including children under age, including teenage, only ten or something years old, she burnt herself to death. Many people stabbed themselves in the stomach to die, many people strangled themselves to die, and many people died by different ways, cutting their veins and let the blood come out, in different ways, in different camps during these years. And now in Hong Kong, people plan to commit suicide in mass in the 30th of April. And it's very difficult for us to communicate because the government of Hong Kong don't let me come inside and talk to these people.
Q: Is there another means than money to prevent these 26,000 persons
from committing suicide?
M: You see, in the past years, sometimes we have been successful in preventing people to commit suicide. Like in Philippines, there were 2,000 youth, some under age, planning to commit suicide long time in 1991. And we have been able to talk to them and they stopped that. And this year in February, in Philippines, about 40 something people wanted to commit suicide, and our disciples in Philippines have been able to talk to them and stopped that. Only 5 or 6 people committed suicide, but then also we helped to rescue them and the people in the camp took them to the hospital in time, so they did not die, but some of them became disabled or mentally disturbed after that. And besides all these talks and encouragement, we do not know what else to prevent them at the moment. Especially in Hong Kong when the government forbids us to come inside the camp to talk to these people.
Q: Why is love not stronger than money? M: Love from us is strong, but it is not a question of love and money. The question is that if we're just giving love to them and the government of Hong Kong still tries to force the people back to Au Lac, then the people, because they don't like communism, they do not like to be suppressed by the communist regime, still will they commit suicide, or they will do some other things that unpredictable. So not because of the money, but we say, well, if the Hong Kong government doesn't want them and the refugee don't want to go back to Au Lac, so we have some finance we can finance them, and train them and help them so that both sides will be peaceful.
Q: Has the UNHCR announced any solution to help the refugees? M: So far, no. They wanted definitely to send all the Au Lac people back to Au Lac before the end of 1995. They fight, all the things happened. They did not have any better solution. They just want to send the people back to Au Lac and the people don't want to go back to Au Lac. Therefore so many problems arise, including that.
Q: Master, can you tell us about the conditions of life in the camps? M: Up to now, the people lived in fear of forced repatriation and also the United Nations had decided to cut down the food ration as well as medical aids. Some people even had sickness and died without medicine, without enough food. That's what I've heard. This is maybe a policy to force people to volunteer to go back to Au Lac. Also in February 1994 this year, 32 countries gathered in Geneva to have a conference concerning the Au Lac refugees and they admitted something, that nobody help them financially. That's why this question of financial help has been going on supposedly for a few years. That's why we offer to help financially, you understand?
Q: Have some governments contacted you to accept the Au Lac refugees? M: It's like this, we have contacted many countries and sometimes we had little success, and the head of the country wanted to receive the refugees. But then sometimes, at the last moment, due to political pressure don't know or what other reason, they turned around and said no. Several countries had accepted and then when we talked to Hong Kong, Hong Kong let the matter stay a long time before wanting to speak to us. And then until then, the head of that nation already finished his term and then another one came up. And then so Hong Kong said we had to get a new letter from a new government and sometimes this caused a lot of difficult delay and sometimes failure to us to help the refugees program. And at the moment, perhaps we are having some negotiations with other countries, and we're having some sign of success, but not officially, so we don't like to announce it here, because this is a political problem, that is very delicate and difficult. Because there are 72 nations with the UN and many countries in the UN have signed an agreement to send all the Au Lac refugees back to Au Lac. And any of these countries who signed agreement cannot violate this agreement and take the Au Lac refugees. So we have to find the leftover countries who had not sign the agreement, otherwise we have no hope. You know, there are not many countries left who are available, and who are also willing to accept the Au Lac refugees. Therefore our negotiations is very difficult and long, long process.
Q: How can we help the refugees? Can we give money? M: Not now, because we have enough money to start with. But maybe later, if we don't have any left. Not now because there is not any country who has officially accepted the refugees yet. That's why you don't have to give money, we don't accept yet. If later some country accepts the refugees and we don't have enough money, we'll tell you and you can give the money directly to that country, not to us.
Q: Have you contacted the French President?
Fellow initiate: Yes, we faxed Mr. Mitterrand a letter. We have already
received a letter from A.M.N.E.S.T.Y. saying they had transmitted our
information to London and were very sad that the Hong Kong government
used the force. We've sent information to all the organizations who
would be able to help us.
M: You can give the President our help proposal for the refugees. We don't really want to burden any government. We just want the government just to bless the people, to accept them. And then, we take care of everything, from airplane ticket to their lodging and food, and their training program and all kind of jobs, because we have hundreds of thousands disciples around the world and followers. We have all kinds of experts who can volunteer to train them until they become useful citizens to the native country. We can bring in 1000 persons every month and take care of them, and then next month another 1000, slowly slowly like this, and in 2 or 3 years, no more refugees in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
Q: Do you need some families who would volunteer to lodge the refugees? M: Maybe it is not necessary. Because if we bring the refugees into a country, we pay for the lodging. Maybe we arrange room, we arrange a big place for them or we build something temporarily for them, depends on the country. If it's a cold country, we have to rent rooms. If it's a warm country, we can temporarily build some temporal lodging for them, then later they train in a job, and then they go out, they can rent home themselves. There is no need to bother and trouble the people of the native country who can accept them. Because if we take in 1000 or 2000 persons every month, our finance and our manpower resource will always be enough to take care of them. Step by step like that.
Q. What will the country who wants to volunteer to help the refugees
have to do?
M: It's not really our problem. It is the problem from the United Nations, and Britain government and Hong Kong, because they already signed the agreement with the Au Lac government to send all the people home. Therefore, sometimes, maybe, I had the feeling, because of many contacts with the Hong Kong government, I had the very strong impression that the Hong Kong government do not want to let people go different country. They are not willing to discuss how to help them and the possibility to accept them. They just want to send the people back to Au Lac, get rid of them quickly. If the United Nations, or the Hong Kong or British government give their blessing, our help, our financial proposal, our help to relocate the Au Lac refugees would be easier by now, it would be done 2 years, 3 years ago.
Q: Is there the same problem in other camps? M: Yes, there are problems also in different camps. For example, in Indonesia, in Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Sometimes for example lately, in February, Philippines' Marine also came in, and because the people in Palawan camp they went on an hunger-strike to protest the forced repatriation. And the Marine, sent in by the government to oppress this, and first used water to disperse people. Later they beat anybody, including women. But after some time, because the Au Lac people did not return the fighting, some of the Marine soldiers felt very sad, very guilty and they dropped their beating weapons, and they cried and they ran away. Also in Thailand, one time people also protested, and the army from Thailand came in and shoot at the people. And some people died and some people wounded. So it's not only in Hong Kong.
Q: Is it possible to negotiate with the Au Lac government to bring the
Au Lac people back to their country? Why can't we find any solution
with the Au Lac government?
M: Well, the UN, the British and Hong Kong have been negotiating with the Au Lac government a long time ago. They wanted to bring the Au Lac refugees back home. But because the people say that in Au Lac, now, there is still oppression, violence, and no freedom, and people were traumatized by their past experience of terror, hunger, oppression, and beating and all that. So they are so terrified to go home. They say they'd rather die here, because they would die there anyhow.
Q: Why don't the refugees not want to go back to Au Lac even though the situation in Au Lac is better than before? M: It's like this. Maybe, the Au Lac people who returned to Au Lac have been in difficulty, have been oppressed and arrested by the government of Au Lac. And they sent many letters to the camp people in Hong Kong. Therefore, maybe the Hong Kong refugees are afraid to come back. And according to many stories they have been told in the letters, the treatment before was very terrible and inhuman, so they are still very very afraid to go back to that country again. But maybe, in a longer time, when they truly believe that Au Lac has become better, perhaps they will go home. But not now. They were very terrified. Therefore they used their precious life to prove that they really want freedom. So they killed themselves. That's why we have to help. We cannot understand why, but if they kill themselves, then we have to help. And many people came back to Au Lac and they have not been able to find jobs because the Au Lac government do not give them identity, so they cannot work and they cannot do anything. They can stay in Au Lac but they are kind of stay outside of the society. They cannot work, they cannot do many things. And the policemen keep asking and telling them to come everyday or do other kind of harassment. So they have no freedom and no job even though they can stay in Au Lac. Some people complained like this. Therefore the people here are afraid to go back there.
(Originally in French)
Your letter impressed us very much.
Thank you so much for relating the information concerning the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong. We have delivered the relevant documents to the International H. P. in London. Should they require more information, we will contact you again. (Possibly, they have already received the request for help from other sources.) In fact, what we can do is directing the information. The International Amnesty Organization is greatly concerned about this matter. We will continue keeping track of this sensitive incident. The refugees should not be repatriated by force.
We thank you sincerely.