'Mistakes committed eight years ago will not become right'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 June, 1997, 12:00am

Tung Chee-hwa's call for the 'baggage of June 4' to be set aside put the future leader in the firing line.

Leading a prayer to commemorate the 1989 pro-democracy movement, the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming said: 'We have heard calls for us to forget. That shows that those who have killed their own people have failed to repent for what they did.

'They even dared ask us to forget all this. Lord, you pardon our crimes. But you never tolerate those who refuse to admit their crimes.' Reverend Chu, a member of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, also urged people to continue their struggle for democracy.

'As long as we have justice in our heart, the mistakes committed eight years ago will not become right, nor will it be forgotten simply because there are fewer supporters.' Reverend Chu predicted the pro-democracy movement would came under greater pressure.

He admitted he had taken part in the rescue of mainland dissidents over the past eight years.

'No matter how big the pressure is, we feel no qualms about what we did. The Chinese Government is the one which should be ashamed about suppressing its own people,' he said.

During the two-hour vigil, Mr Tung's remarks were cited repeatedly by speakers on the stage who asked whether the tens of thousands of people attending would forget.

'No,' they shouted.

Exiled unionist Han Dongfang said Mr Tung was using double standards by asking people to forget June 4.

'If the Chinese cannot forget the shame of losing Hong Kong during the Opium War 150 years ago, how can they ask its people to forget a movement which took place only in 1989,' he said.