My Detention in Thailand

A Practitioner from Sweden

PureInsight | August 11, 2003

[] I was born in Finland, and I have been living in Sweden since I was nine years old. I was lucky to attain Fa, in 1995, at Master Li´s 7-day lecture in Sweden. Due to my husband's work I have been spending a lot of time in Thailand during the last three years. It is my understanding that I have a strong predestined relationship with Thailand, and that my husband got a job in Bangkok so that I could do my part in Fa-rectification in Thailand.

Thailand is very dear to me, and I have met so many kindhearted people. Most Thai people are always eager and happy to take our Falun Gong flyers.

Every environment has its own difficulties in Fa-rectification. Thailand has very close relations with China, and as far as I know over 50% of the people in Thailand are of Chinese origin. In Thailand, it is not easy to approach the politicians as it is very hard to get an appointment. But something happened on April 29, 2003, and with the great efforts of practitioners worldwide many people in the government learned the truth of Dafa.

During this particular time I had been living in Thailand for about four months. On April 29, the police knocked on my door. They had a search warrant and wanted to search my house to see if I had any illegal papers. The police collected my Falun Gong materials and took my husband and me to the immigration office. The officials said that my materials were a threat to the Thai government relations with China. I explained, together with a Thai practitioner who had come to help me, about the persecution in China, and that my materials just tell the truth about innocent people being killed in China. Later that day, we heard that actually someone had been afraid I would do a demonstration during the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister to Bangkok.

My husband was interrogated and then released as he is not a practitioner. A Thai practitioner went to speak to the Commissioner to clarify the truth about Dafa, and to reason with him on why I should not be deported. Later that day, the officials said that I was going to be deported and my one-year visa cancelled. They told me, "If you don´t fly to Sweden tonight, we have to put you in a detention center."

We were quite shocked. I felt like I was going through a dream. My husband's employer tried to help me, but she couldn't do anything since the orders apparently came from a very high level in the government. She told us that I should travel to Sweden that evening. My husband and his brother also wanted me to fly home that night. Since my thinking was not clear at that moment, at first I thought this must be the best thing to do.

I asked to go home and pack my luggage. Two police officers took us home. While packing my things I suddenly understood that I should not let myself be deported like this as I am innocent! I have not done anything wrong! If I leave wouldn't it look like I was guilty of something? My two practitioner friends from Thailand had the same understanding, and a practitioner who called me from Sweden at that moment also supported my realization.

My husband and his brother, who also works in Thailand, became very upset. They wanted me to leave that night. But, I knew deep inside I should not do that. My thoughts were righteous. The pressure from my family and husband was heavy and I did not want to hurt them as well. I silently asked for help from our benevolent Master and to give me wisdom to do the right thing. I thought about Thailand. What would be the future of Thailand if they deported a Dafa practitioner? I suddenly realized the old forces have arranged this tribulation. I realized that to stand up for Dafa and to not follow the old forces' arrangements would also be the best for my family, and for their future.

When we drove back to the immigration office with the police, my husband was very worried. I knew how he felt. It was difficult to see him suffering. The old forces' persecution is very hard on the family members who do not practice. They suffer more than we who practice Falun Gong do. The reality of the persecution that happens in China suddenly came vividly close to me. At that moment I could not explain to him how this was so important for Thailand, and that I just could not leave.

I felt I was enveloped by strong energy. I sent righteous thoughts throughout the evening. After I was registered at the detention centre, I gave Falun Gong flyers to the staff and one Chinese flyer to some Chinese women who had also been detained that evening. I explained to them with the little Chinese I can speak, about Falun Gong, and the persecution and that I was innocently detained. We were all taken to the detention centre. There were about 100 women in one large room. I decided to do an appeal in order to get back my visa and ask the officials not to blacklist me. Local practitioners found for me a well-known human rights lawyer. He told me that I had not broken any laws in Thailand.

The weather became very hot during the first two weeks in the detention center. I have always been sensitive to heat, and realized that the old forces were trying to break my will. Some days I was tired and I could sleep only short periods of time. For a few days, I also had some interference with pain from my body. When I started to study the Fa more, and later on even when I tried to memorize poems and recited "Lunyu," I became stronger, more focused with my righteous thoughts, and even more determined. I also practiced the exercises every day.

I thought a lot about the situation for practitioners in China. I knew my suffering would be nothing compared to how the Chinese practitioners' suffer in detention in China. Their courage and strength during all these four years of terrible persecution gave me courage and determination, as well.

After about one week, one practitioner from Sweden and another from America arrived to give their support. They stayed unselfishly in Bangkok all that time I was detained and for a period of time even after I had left. They visited me everyday together with some local practitioners. I was very grateful for all the practitioners support. The Swedish practitioner knows my husband and helped him a lot too.

A Dafa practitioner should not be in detention, so I thought at first, I would give Thailand government about two to three weeks to reconsider my case, but after sharing my understandings with a practitioner friend I felt I should stay for as long as it was needed for Thailand. I also remembered Master's words, "In saving people, you have to be patient, and that's Dafa disciples' compassion." (Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, April 20, 2003)

I clarified the truth and facts to all the women that I could speak with in my room. My friends brought us all the Dafa materials that we needed. The guards never stopped my friends from giving me Dafa material. The guards were all very friendly to me. There were many Chinese women in detention. They read my Falun Gong materials very eagerly. They could all understand that Dafa is good. Some women practiced with me every morning. Some of my best moments were the times when I taught and practiced with detainees. I could see how the practice made them happier and calmer.

My fellow inmates brought Falun Gong flyers in English and Chinese to the other rooms where they had boyfriends. I was happy that they could position themselves so well in Dafa. One practitioner from Thailand gave away over 100 yellow fans that said "Falun Dafa Hao" in Chinese and Thai. Everyone eagerly wanted the fans and when I had some extra they gave them to their friends in the other rooms and even some guards had fans. It was so nice to see all of the yellow fans moving in the room. It was like all these women were part of my family.

The Swedish Ambassador had contact with a practitioner in Sweden almost every day. The Ambassador was a righteous person and worked hard to get me released. He spoke with different government officials and journalists. He said to me one day, that many parliament members, journalists, and human right workers supported my case, which meant they also supported Dafa.

During these five weeks in detention, Dafa disciples all over the world used my case to clarify the truth to Thailand, Sweden, the European Union and other governments.
The old forces arranged my arrest, but we Dafa disciples turned around the old forces' arrangements. We turned something bad into something good. Over seven hundred VCD´s were sent to Thailand, and hundreds and hundreds of more letters and faxes. Local practitioners also wrote to the Prime Minister of Thailand. Some practitioners met with a representative from the Prime Minister's office and clarified the facts to him. Due to the great efforts by Dafa disciples the Thai Government officials had the chance to know the truth. Every day was so precious, and every day more people knew about Dafa and the persecution. So many practitioners have been writing to the government of Thailand and this is their chance in this lifetime to understand Dafa. Master says also, "…Every being has a side that knows; he knows what Dafa is all about." (Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, April 20, 2003. ) So I am sure many people are waking up.

Many practitioners from Sweden and other countries, some whom I know and some I don't know, wrote to me, giving me courage and their understanding. Thank you all for your kindness. It was very important help for me.

Nevertheless, no Dafa practitioners should be in jail or detention!

The time in detention helped me to see and remove attachments that would not have been as clear to me outside in freedom. My suffering was very small compared to how the Chinese practitioners suffer in detention. My family had suffered a lot. I had written to all my family members from the detention centre and explained everything. This was a difficult situation for them. I am therefore very grateful for the support that practitioners in my hometown gave to my family during this time.

Like most of you know, in the end the Thai government still chose to deport me, but I was not treated like a normal deportee. I was not directly barred from entering the country again or sent to the airport in the police car. Instead the Swedish Ambassador escorted me to the airport where we also had a press conference. The national media reported positively on the event. All the Thai practitioners from Lumpini Park came to the airport to say goodbye. I was so glad to see them all. They all hugged me and together we sang "Falun Dafa Hao" over and over again until I had to go to the departure gates.

The situation in Thailand is more complicated than in many other countries. The committee that dealt with my appeal received orders not to take up my case at all. The whole situation was very uncomfortable for Thai Government. We could see that from our meetings with the immigrations officials. It was obvious that behind the scene, Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong was causing the situation. Even the Swedish Ambassador described the situation as a result of influence from a foreign power. I think the Thai government did the best they could at that moment to resolve the pressing situation.

My understanding is that the process of clarifying the facts to the Thai government was more important than whether I was deported or not. Master says, when talking about the lawsuits, "When you do things, I consider the process most important, because during the process you can have people see the truth, during the process you can save the world's people, and during the process you can reveal the truth… But you often emphasize the results, instead of fully explaining to them the facts that you should explain during that process. Only when all people know the truth that they should know are you really validating the Fa and clarifying the facts." (Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, April 20, 2003)

Even though I am no longer in detention, we still need to continue clarifying the truth to Thai officials, keep them updated and send them letters, from practitioners both inside and outside of Thailand. I hope we can become one strong Dafa body in Thailand and together step by step eliminate the remaining old forces so that Thailand can position themselves in their best way.

We need to use every day to save people and we will do even better! With our compassion we can melt steel. With our compassion we will be able change everything.

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