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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 09:24 GMT
Falungong members cancel Thai meeting

Followers of the Falungong spiritual movement in Thailand have cancelled a planned conference following diplomatic pressure from Beijing.

The Falungong members said they were scrapping the meeting, which had been scheduled to be held in April, in order to maintain unity within Thai society and avoid conflict.

They'd come under pressure to cancel the conference from ethnic Chinese community organisations and Buddhist organisations within Thailand.

The Thai authorities had said the group would be allowed to hold the meeting with certain restrictions, but had repeatedly warned of the dangers of souring bilateral ties after Beijing lodged an official protest over the conference. Beijing has outlawed Falungong, which it sees as a dangerous cult.

But Falungong is legal in Thailand.

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