Tiananmen Square crackdown

Numbers game not the point in the shooting of unarmed people

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2007, 12:00am

Inspired by Ray Woo's letter ('Shedding light on Tiananmen death numbers', May 26), I propose a naming system that classifies killing events objectively. An event with a death toll ranging from one to 999 should be an 'incident'; 1,000 to 9,999, an 'occasion'; 10,000 to 99,999, an 'event'; 100,000 to 999,999, a 'massacre'; and, more than that, a 'bloodbath'.

As for the June 4 'incident', the Chinese Red Cross reported that 2,600 people were killed on that morning. Given the low figure, 'massacre' is clearly not the appropriate term.

I also agree with Bill Wong ('Crackdown was necessary', May 26). Since the crackdown was so good, and so essential to the country, the acts of heroism displayed by the army should not be forgotten.

I strongly suggest that the government designates June 4 as a public holiday to celebrate the crackdown. I promise I will book the football pitches of Victoria Park in advance, and organise a re-enactment of the holy battle.

Andrew Tay, Causeway Bay

I was deeply disturbed to read the two responses to Ma Lik's outrageous comments on the Tiananmen crackdown, one by Ray Woo and the other by Bill Wong.

Mr Woo seems to imply that if 'only' 300 were killed, as opposed to 4,000, somehow the crackdown was okay. Does it really matter what the number was? Is the killing of 300 unarmed people by the Chinese military not terrible enough? How, under any circumstances, can this be justified?

Mr Wong is even more difficult to understand. He says: 'The crackdown was necessary for the good of the country. The victims of it were the price paid for the country's progress.' How heartless can one be? Mr Wong, would you say the same if one of the dead was your loved one - your sister, your son, a close friend? And would you say the same if this happened in Hong Kong?

And what was the 'good of the country' - economic progress? I guess this ultimately shows Mr Wong's values. Thankfully, most people do not view this tragic event in the same way.

Terry Scott, Sha Tin