June 4 organisers get into the Olympic spirit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am

Organisers of the city's annual June 4 commemoration have adopted the 2008 Olympic theme - 'One World One Dream' - saying the 'dream' involves accountability for the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

But Beijing loyalists see the move as an attempt to politicise the Games, arguing that many Hongkongers would prefer to see the country succeed as an Olympic host.

In this, the 19th year since the crackdown, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China said its theme was: 'One World, Universal Human Rights, One Dream, Demand Accountability For June 4'.

Under 'One World', alliance leader Szeto Wah said Chinese people shared a common dream, and that everyone should enjoy universal human rights.

'What does the 'One Dream' refer to?' he asked. 'I believe the shared dream of the Chinese and people with conscience is to demand accountability for June 4, which is seen as the first step for China to move towards democracy.'

But Lau Kong-wah, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, disagreed.

'Many Chinese people's dream is wishing the country will grow stronger ... I believe the majority of Hong Kong people hope our country concentrates on holding a successful Olympics,' he said.

A week ahead of the candle-light vigil in Victoria Park, the alliance will advertise its 'One Dream, Demand accountability for June 4' campaign in newspapers.

The alliance offers a new interpretation of the five interlocking Olympic rings - the red one for human rights, yellow for democracy, green for freedom, blue for peace and black for the rule of law.

A souvenir badge also reinterprets the Olympic torch, with '19' forming the handle and the Chinese characters of six and four making up the torch.

The alliance's theme also echoes the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot's Colour Orange project, which aims to show the country the world is keeping an eye on human rights violations in the Olympics year.

Meanwhile, Mr Szeto raised concerns over the mainland's handling of the Tibet riots, saying authorities had shown no progress in dealing with protests since the 1989 crackdown.

'It is even worse than June 4,' he said. 'Before the government's suppression of riots, journalists were able to report what happened [in 1989], but now they have all been forced to leave Tibet and nobody can tell what is happening there.'

Mr Szeto said he doubted the accuracy of news from state media and urged Beijing to reopen Tibet to the international media.