Updated at 6.43pm: About 120 Falun Gong members presented a petition on Friday afternoon at the Central Government's Liaison Office in Causeway Bay, urging Beijing to halt its crackdown on the sect. They tried to deliver a letter to Premier Zhu Rongji and other ''conscientious'' leaders but no one from the office came out to receive it. ''We are disappointed but we still have hopes for we know this is temporary,'' said Sharon Xu Jun, the group's SAR spokeswoman. Ms Xu claimed that they had chosen October 30 for the petition in order to commemorate the revision of a law by the People's Congress a year ago, which redefined the sect as an ''evil cult''. ''The new definition was not specifically referred to Falun Dafa but was used by a few people to direct against it,'' said Ms Xu. Ms Xu thought official oppression had been escalating recently. ''We called for Premier Zhu and other leaders' immediate attention on the issue.'' Ms Xu said she had cause for optimism because she believed that Premier Zhu had recently ordered mainland security chief to stop torturing Falun Gong followers.