Leniency warning given to marchers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 June, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 June, 1996, 12:00am

The authorities were only 'lenient' towards marches commemorating the June 4 massacre because the protests were not aimed at Britain, a senior Preparatory Committee member said yesterday.

The post-97 government would not necessarily deal with possible subversive acts or speeches in the same way, said deputy secretary-general Shiu Sin-por.

'If the acts which concern China were carried out against Britain, I believe the reaction of the Hong Kong Government would be different,' he said.

He avoided saying whether pro-democracy protests would be allowed after next year.

That depended on how Article 23 of the Basic Law would be implemented and to what extent the authority would enforce the law.

Article 23 says laws will be drafted to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition and subversion against the central government.

Mr Shiu declined to give a timetable for when Article 23 would be decided.

'It will be drafted later if the problem is not serious. But if society believes legislation is needed, then it should be dealt with earlier,' said Mr Shiu.

Mr Shiu believed only a few senior officials would be affected by the change of sovereignty.

'Maybe not more than 50 to 100 senior civil servants might reasonably worry about their posting after July 1 next year,' he said.

'I am saying that the great, great majority of the 180,000 civil servants have nothing to worry about because their pay and compensation and position will not be affected.'