Police foil cult motive at Games

Police have foiled an alleged religious cult attempt at the South Pacific Games in Suva.

But those involved said that they are evangelists of the group.

Nancy Chen, Yan Liang and Ruowei Yang are in the country to introduce the faith of Falun Dafa.

Falun Gong, (pronounced fah-luhn goong), literally means "the Practice of the Wheel of the Dharma." Falun Gong refers to five sets of exercises, done to Chinese music and involving lotus postures and hand movements. Falun Dafa is the spiritual movement that practices Falun Gong. Increasingly, the movement itself is being called Falun Gong.

Police Games spokesman Mesake Koroi said their investigation was to determine the truth and otherwise of the allegations bearing in mind the all-important issue of national security.

This caused police to beef up security at the Games venues after the three women managed to enter as spectators and distribute pamphlets to young people at the Games.

Mr Koroi said police were investigating the women since they had entered the country from Australia last Friday.

Mr Koroi said police action followed after a section of the Chinese community living in Suva had filed a complaint.

A Chinese official last night said that the women were of a "dangerous group that could cause mass deaths."

The spokesman claimed the group had been involved in large unexplained deaths.

Ms Yan Liang alleged the Chinese Embassy in Suva were the cause of the investigations as her sister has been imprisoned because she was a follower of the faith.

Ms Liang claimed her sister is unable to walk properly as a result of the torture while imprisoned.

"We understand that the Chinese Embassy officials here wrote a letter of complaint to CID officials alleging we are cults ... this is not true and we believe the Chinese Government has been applying pressure on the Fiji Government defaming us and saying we are dangerous and our intentions are bad," she claimed.

Mr Koroi said the organisation was outlawed by the government of China towards the end of the last century following complaints that some members of the organisation were involved in mass suicides.

"As a result of the complaint, detectives moved into the hotel where the women stayed and seized several cartons of printed and reading materials, banners and phamplets about Falun Dafa," he said.

"At the same time the three women were taken in for questioning on Friday night and again on Saturday morning."

"Allegations were made that these women were distributing pamphlets with the view to establishing a branch of the religious cult in Fiji," he said.

"Our investigations also took into account whether the women had breached conditions of the visitors visa granted to them by actively and publicly campaigning for their faith".