(Minghui.org) A conference held at Presidency University in Kolkata, India brought together experts from around the world for a discussion on genocide. The speakers included international human rights lawyer David Matas, who presented on the persecution of Falun Gong in China and the killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.
The event, named the International Multidisciplinary Conference on Prevention of Mass Violence and Promotion of Tolerance: Lessons from History, was organized by the Department of History at the university and took place on February 27 and 28, 2017.
The conference was part of the celebration of the 200th year of Presidency College and its acquisition of University status. The event also commemorated the introduction of Holocaust Studies as a post-graduate course for the first time in Asia, initiated by Dr. Navras Aafreedi of the Department of History.
The panel of eminent speakers included those from the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, Austria, Israel, Bangladesh, and India. Since genocide was the theme of the conference, Mr. Matas presented on the persecution and killing of Falun Gong practitioners in China, which he has investigated for over a decade along with former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour. This was the first time many attendees had heard of these atrocities.
David Matas fielded many questions with facts and figures in the interactive sessions. In the concluding session on the second day, Mr. Matas chaired a round-table discussion among the panel of speakers.
Mr. Matas said, “A lesson I suggest we learn from this conference is that this conference at this university and the associated course the University is introducing as part of its academic program are worthwhile. South Asia owes an effort to learn the lessons of its mass killings not just for itself, but also for the world. A focus on its own past tragedies could, one would hope, help to prevent future such tragedies in the region.”
He added, “We look to South Asia to learn the lessons from its history of mass violence to teach us all, to help us everywhere to prevent mass violence, and promote tolerance worldwide.”