PLA silenced by stadium noise restrictions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 September, 1999, 12:00am

The might of the PLA was no match for Hong Kong Stadium directors yesterday as they banned the soldiers from an early morning rehearsal for National Day celebrations.

About 650 soldiers were told they could not rehearse between 7am and 9am today because they would disturb sleeping residents.

Instead, they have been told to turn up two hours later to start their rehearsals at 9am and finish at 11am.

Stadium bosses originally told the PLA it would have to join the main afternoon rehearsal.

Tough noise limits have previously forced international stars such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Michael Jackson to cancel concerts at the venue.

The PLA is scheduled to perform drill exercises, marches and martial arts to the tune of a military band as part of National Day celebrations tomorrow at the stadium from 5.30pm.

'Their rehearsal would disturb residents,' said Ada Wong Ying-kay, a provisional urban councillor and a member of the stadium's board of governors. 'They would play military music.' Ms Wong said there was a restriction of 60 decibels from 7am to 9am at the stadium.

Fellow board member and Democratic Party legislator Fred Li Wah-ming said there was plenty of time for the PLA to practise.

An army spokesman claimed the ban would have no effect on tomorrow's performance.

'The soldiers are well-drilled and they can carry out their demonstrations without difficulty,' he said.