4,000 HK Demonstrators Commemorate 10th Anniversary
of Tiananmen Massacre
-- Hong Kong Voice of Democracy
Hong Kong spearheaded the world-wide
commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Tiananmen
Massacre as more than 4,000 demonstrators
participated in the march organized by the Hong Kong
Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement
in China on May 30, 1999. Hong Kong Voice of
Democracy learnt from mainland sources that the signals
of Hong Kong TV stations were blocked in Southern
mainland cities such as Guangzhou in order to censure
the commemoration news.
In Liaoning, about 100 dissidents made a formal
application to the public security bureau for staging a
candlelit vigil at Shenyang Centre on the 10th
anniversary. Their application is expected to be rejected
by the government. About 50 activists in Hangzhou had
made the application for similar event earlier but was
already rejected. On the other hand, another dissident
was sentenced to four years jail on May 29 for posting
leaflets demanding the reversal of the official verdict on
the 1989 democracy movement.
Hong Kong is the only city in the People's Republic of
China where people can hold demonstrations and rallies
in public to commemorate the Tiananmen Massacre.
The Hong Kong Alliance has been holding a Sunday
march before the anniversary and a candle-lit vigil on the
anniversary to mark the incident throughout the last 10
years. About 3,000 citizens participated in the march
last year, when Hong Kong had been reverted to China
less than one year.
Szeto Wah, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance made
an emotional address at the beginning of the rally this
year. "Hong Kong is the only place in China where
people can commemorate the Tiananmen Massacre. It is
important we fight on. We are a spark in China
democratic movement," he said .
"Ten years is 3,650 days. Every day and every night our
will to fight until the end has not been shaken. We will
wait 10 years, 20 years, 30 years until June 4 is
re-evaluated and until there is democracy in China," he
"Even if I am gone, you should continue this march," he
said while choking back tears. He also expressed hope
that he could lay a wreath at Tiananmen Square for the
victims of the massacre some day. Szeto Wah and other
committee members of the Alliance are forbidden to visit
the mainland by the Beijing government.
More than 1 million Hong Kong people took to the
street in June 1989 to protest against the massacre in
Beijing. The number of the participants in the march has
dwindled to a few thousand as time goes by, but the
Hong Kong Alliance members said the people's demand
for a reversal of the official verdict remained the same.
"Although it has been 10 years since it happened, I don't
think people's feelings about it have changed that much,
" said Albert Ho Chun-yan, committee member of the
Hong Kong Alliance.
Many families who joined the march brought their
children. "Even if the Chinese government has not
reversed the official verdict on the democracy
movement, I still hope my children can carry on the
campaign," one demonstrator said.
The march organized by the Hong Kong Alliance ended
peacefully after Szeto Wah handed a statement to a
representative of the Chief Executive office. Another
protest group April 5th Action Group then continued the
demonstration as they carried a coffin with the words
"Butcher Regime Stinks Forever" to the Chinese Foreign
Ministry Office. They were stalled by the police outside
the Foreign Ministry office. Leung Kwok-hung who led
the protest was warned by the police that they had not
"made application" for the demonstration.
After arguments with the police, the group forced their
way and put the coffin on the barricade outside the
office. The police removed the coffin after the protesters
In a picture exhibition on the June 4th Incident, China
labour activist Han Dong-fang criticized the SAR
government for barring exiled dissidents such as Wang
Dan from entering Hong Kong. Wang Dan and other
exiled dissidents have been invited by the Hong Kong
Alliance to join an academic forum as guest speakers,
but the SAR government refused to grant them entry
visas. The government has given no detailed explanation
for the decision.
In mainland China, Zhang You-ju, a Chinese
Democratic Party member, was sentenced to four-year
imprisonment on May 29 for distributing leaflets calling
for the reversal of the official verdict on 1989
democracy movement last year. He was arrested near
Tiananmen Square by Beijing police on November 18,
1998. The Intermediate Court in Tangshan sentenced
him for inciting the subversion of state power, the Hong
Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and
Democratic Movement in China reported.
Chinese police have detained more than 50 dissidents
over the past few weeks with a view to forestall the
commemoration activities on the mainland. At least 15 of
them are still in custody. Professor Ding Zi-lin, who is
compiling a list of the June 4th massacre victims, is
frequently harassed by police and has been under virtual
house arrest since May 4th this year. Ding and her
husband are both prohibited from leaving the Beijing
University where they teach since then.
Ding, whose only son was killed in June 1989, said
plainclothes policemen stationed outside her home called
her "a traitor".