Hong Kong Tiananmen Vigil Boosted By Massacre Denial – Theresa Tang

From Bloomberg:

Hong Kong’s annual commemoration of the Tiananmen Square crackdown attracted tens of thousands of people after a pro-Beijing politician downplayed the events of June 1989.

About 28,000 people overflowed six soccer pitches late yesterday in Causeway Bay’s Victoria Park where the vigil is held, according to an estimate by Hong Kong police. Event organizers said 55,000 people attended.

“I have to tell my child what really happened 18 years ago,” said Ray Fok, 39, who went to the rally with his wife and their 7-year-old son. “What Ma Lik said was a total denial of what happened. China owes the victims an explanation.” [Full Text]

See also Tiananmen Crackdown Survivors Mark Anniversary by AP:

Survivors of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing marked the event’s 18th anniversary on Monday by demanding political reform in China. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong to mourn the dead at a candlelight vigil.

The day began quietly in Beijing’s massive Tiananmen Square, where tourists gathered to watch a daily flag-raising ceremony amid tight security. Police usually are quick to snuff out any memorials, and there were no immediate reports of protests.

But on the anniversary’s eve, one victim’s weeping mother, Ding Zilin, placed flowers and a photo of her son on the spot where he died a few kilometers west of Tiananmen. Ding, who for years was placed under house arrest during Tiananmen anniversaries and other sensitive times, this year made the pilgrimage with no interference from state security forces. [Full Text]

See A Hushed Chat in Tiananmen Square by Marisa Buchanan, NBC News Producer:

It seems like just another day in Tiananmen Square, even though it’s far from it — it’s the 18th anniversary of the 1989 government crackdown on student demonstrations in and around Beijing.

The numbers of people who died at the hand of the Chinese government have never been released, though there are estimates of more than 1,000. But today you would never know it even happened. There is no anniversary news in the papers in Beijing, no candlelight memorials, no flowers at the foot of any of the monuments in the square. [Full Text]

See China Investigates Tiananmen Newspaper Ad by Benjamin Kang Lim:

Chinese authorities were investigating on Tuesday how an advertisement saluting mothers of students killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown found its way into a newspaper in southwest China.

The massacre is still taboo and the government has rejected public calls to overturn the verdict that the student-led demonstrations were “counter-revolutionary,” or subversive. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed when the army crushed the pro- protests on June 4, 1989.

“It’s under investigation,” a staff member at the editor-in-chief’s office of the Chengdu Evening News in Sichuan province said by telephone. She declined further comment. [Full Text]

Read Speaker Nancy Pelosi Statement on the Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre:

“Today we pay tribute to the brave souls of Tiananmen Square, who 18 years ago defied the powers of their day to demand the liberties and freedom to which all people everywhere are entitled.

“We remember how Chinese students, workers and citizens marched in peace, how they raised a Goddess of Democracy in the image of our own Statue of Liberty, and how they quoted our own Founding Fathers.

“We remember the courage of the heroes of Tiananmen and we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of freedom and democracy of which they dreamed.

“Eighteen years later, the human rights situation in China remains poor. In fact, the Chinese government is becoming even more sophisticated, using new technology to monitor and apprehend those who criticize the government or worship freely. [Full Text]

Also read China Strongly Opposes U.S. Interference in Internal Affairs by Xinhua:

China on Tuesday expressed strong opposition to the statement by a U.S. official linking the Beijing Olympic Games to the 1989 Tiananmen incident.

“The Olympic Game are a great world event, and we are firmly against the interference in China’s internal affairs in the name of the games,” said Jiang Yu, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. [Full Text]

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