Appeal for universal suffrage
Twenty-five legislators send joint letter to Jia Qinglin
Twenty-five lawmakers yesterday issued a joint letter to visiting Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference chairman Jia Qinglin calling for the early introduction of universal suffrage.
They also disputed his claim Hong Kong was enjoying smooth governance and prosperity under Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.
'Mr Jia should come and see for himself that tens of thousands of people are still taking to the street this Saturday,' said Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier.
Members said they had to send the letter through Mr Tsang as they were not given an opportunity to discuss the issues with Mr Jia.
'We probably won't even be able to shake hands with him when we attend the dinner with him [this evening],' said Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, Civic Party leader.
The joint appeal by the Democratic Party, the Civic Party and their allies came as members of the April Fifth Action group scuffled with police as they tried to enter Government House to hand a petition to Mr Jia. At one point, former legislator Tsang Kin-shing was put into a police van.
Legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung said he would not rule out another protest when he attends the dinner this evening.
In the joint letter, legislators said the Tsang administration was incapable of addressing deep-rooted conflicts in society. Apart from seeking a reversal of the verdict on the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen crackdown, lawmakers demanded the central authorities stop 'interfering' in Hong Kong affairs and 'arbitrarily' interpreting the Basic Law.
They also urged Mr Jia to give detained journalist Ching Cheong fair treatment and to lift the ban on certain legislators and other people visiting the mainland.