Runners lead June 4 remembrance

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2007, 12:00am

About 100 local activists yesterday braved the heat to stage an 18km run in memory of the June 4 crackdown in Beijing 18 years ago.

The annual event, which came on the eve of today's annual candle-light vigil, was staged by the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China to symbolise the continuity in the fight for redress.

The runners began in Chater Road and finished the event at the central government's liaison office in Western, where they erected a Goddess of Democracy statue and paid floral tributes to those killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Alliance chairman Szeto Wah would not be drawn on the turnout for tonight's vigil in Victoria Park.

Speaking on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong yesterday, The Frontier legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing said people's commemoration of June 4 would help modernise China.

Referring to what she called 'inflammatory and ill-judged' remarks by legislator Ma Lik, Ms Lau said 'it should be obvious to all that the June 4 massacre is still very much on the minds of many Hong Kong people', and any attempt to whitewash the atrocities would be strongly rebuffed.

Mr Ma, chairman of the Beijing-friendly Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, has denied there was a massacre in 1989.

Ms Lau said the Beijing 'massacre' had severely strained relations between the mainland authorities and members of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movements.

She hoped there were people in the Chinese leadership who shared Zhao Ziyang's vision that the country should abandon one-party rule and embrace democracy. The former Communist Party secretary-general was purged in 1989 for opposing the decision to suppress the student protests with force. 'If we manage to keep alive the memories of June 4 and the people's desire for democracy, human rights and clean government, we will be making a significant contribution to the development of modern China,' she said.