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Raymond Wong Yuk Man

Student protests grow

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am

Student campaigns against Chinese University's library extension plan continued this week despite the vice-chancellor's promise to consider other construction options to avoid moving two beloved landmarks.

The Gate, by renowned sculptor Ju Ming, and its broad rectangular base known as The Beacon, were to be temporarily displaced while an underground extension was built to the library.

The plan drew vehement protests from students and alumni who consider the structures to be 'the heart of the university' and a 'symbol of democracy'.

Li Man-kong, academic secretary of the Students' Union, said the university had yet to promise that The Beacon would not be moved.

'If they don't give us a reply by early next week, we will consider escalating our action like holding a candlelight vigil,' he said. About 5,300 people have joined a Facebook group in support for The Beacon's protection.

The university previously had promised that both structures would be reinstated 'without an inch of difference' after the construction was completed.

Chinese University Employees' General Union president Ng Hiu-chun said there had been previous examples where structures had been demolished despite promises from the university.

At a forum which attracted about 300 students on Tuesday, legislator and League of Social Democrats chairman Wong Yuk-man who has recently been appointed to the univesity's council, said he supported the students.