Less than a month after returning from a business mission to China, Mayor Larry O'Brien is refusing to proclaim Falun Dafa Day, for fear it might "create any kind of international incident."World Falun Dafa Day was May 14; just type the phrase in Google to find pics and stories. Apparently hundreds of other locales formally or informally hosted events, all without an international incident. Someone sold his integrity for a mess of pottage -- did O'Brien really imagine that it would have any effect on China's trade with Canada if he had proclaimed Falun Gong Day? Beijing was just making noise.
The City of Ottawa has made the proclamation in the previous two years, with O'Brien personally signing it in 2008.
Indeed, the spiritual group -- also called Falun Gong -- received notification in April from the city's protocol office that today would be proclaimed "Falun Dafa Day" in the city. Earlier this week, though, the group was told the mayor would not sign the proclamation.
When asked why, O'Brien said Wednesday it was "in the interest of maintaining and developing a continuing stronger economic relation with a country that's going to be important to our future."
According to Bay Councillor Alex Cullen, when he asked the mayor why he would not sign the proclamation, the mayor told Cullen: "I made a commitment." O'Brien did not say to whom, Cullen said.
Taiwan? If China goes to this length to strike at its imagined enemies, imagine what's in store for Taiwan in the post-ECFA world.
UPDATE: Commenter alerts me to China Daily piece on O'Brien visit.
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