Pedantic police rain on lion dancers' National Day parade

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 October, 2004, 12:00am

Lion dancers were banned from a National Day performance in Yuen Long because they wore black trousers in breach of the performance licence that stipulated they wear light blue, police said yesterday.

Chief Inspector Wong Mong-tong said police asked participants not to wear black because suspected triad members had worn black at public functions in the past in an apparent attempt to demonstrate their powers. But the organiser of Wednesday's dance claimed police had abused their powers by banning the 18 performers, and said they were considering filing a formal complaint.

Wong Yiu-wing, chairman of Ping Shan Rural Committee, said: 'They can't label people dressed with black clothing as triad members. It's unreasonable and they are going too far.

'We just wanted to take part in the National Day celebration. We are not triad members or troublemakers. Police should not have stopped us performing in the parade because we wore black trousers.'

Under the Summary Offences Ordinance, it is an offence to organise or participate in lion, dragon or unicorn dances or a martial arts display in a public place without a permit from the police.

Chief Inspector Wong, the assistant Yuen Long divisional police commander for operations, said organisers and participants did not raise any objections in meetings with police before the show.

But the rural committee chairman said they had not made up their mind about what colour the trousers would be when they submitted their application to stage the dance.

'Our performers wore black trousers because the colour matched the colour of one of our two lions,' he said.

About 200 Ping Shan villagers who had been watching Wednesday's parade left when it was announced the rural committee's lion dance had been cancelled.

It is understood the committee originally planned to designate 28 villagers to perform in the lion dance but eight were barred from taking part because they had criminal records.

The lion dance was one of 28 events in the parade, organised by the Yuen Long District Office, six rural committees and various community organisations to celebrate National Day.