Falungong gather for city protest

Bangkok, Thailand - About 100 Falungong practitioners will gather in Bangkok today to condemn a decade-long ban imposed on the sect by the Chinese government.

They will gather at Banjasiri Park to condemn the Beijing government and hold a candlelight service to remember their colleagues who died from torture and suppression by Chinese authorities.

The gathering is part of a worldwide Falungong campaign.

In 1999, Falungong practitioners staged the largest and most protracted protest in China since the Chinese democracy movement of a decade earlier.

The protest prompted the Chinese government to outlaw the Falungong sect and carry out a campaign against its practitioners.

China has always sought diplomatic and police cooperation from Thailand to ensure that at least there will be no Falungong protests in front of its embassy in Bangkok and during visits by high-ranking Chinese officials.

Meanwhile, Thai Muslims plan to condemn China's harsh action against ethnic Muslim Uighur people in the Xinjiang region after their recent clashes with Han Chinese.

The Bangkok-based Muslim for Peace Group has urged the Chinese government to exercise restraint. Northern Thai Muslims will gather at Chang Klan Mosque in Chiang Mai before handing a petition to the Chinese consul-general in the northern city today .