Attacks on Martin Lee shameful: Cardinal Zen
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun has described as shameful the branding of veteran democracy campaigner Martin Lee Chu-ming as a traitor for urging the United States to use the Beijing Olympic Games to engage China on its human rights record.
The criticisms were not based on facts, he said yesterday.
Cardinal Zen's remarks came as Regina Ip Suk-yee, a pro-Beijing camp-backed candidate in the December Legislative Council by-election, made a subtle appeal to her supporters to lay the saga to rest.
Cardinal Zen, an advocate for democracy, said: 'If Mr Martin Lee is a traitor, I can also be called a traitor.
'I do not want to talk about it too much. [The criticisms against Mr Lee] were shameful,' he said.
Mr Lee came under fire last week for writing in The Wall Street Journal that US President George W. Bush should 'take a broader vision of the possibilities for the Beijing Games'.
The pro-Beijing camp accused Mr Lee of calling for a boycott of the 2008 Games, and inviting 'foreign influence' in Chinese affairs.
Mr Lee has said he suspected the attack was a 'well-orchestrated' tactic ahead of coming elections.
Mrs Ip called for calm in a subtle appeal to her pro-Beijing supporters. 'When expressing views, one should avoid using violent language.'
Mrs Ip's election rival, Anson Chan Fang On-sang, said Mr Lee was patriotic and cared for Hong Kong.
She urged all countries to actively participate in the Olympic Games, saying 'through this platform, every country can express their views on the issues they are concerned with to the motherland'.