Tsang to be Tiananmen target

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 May, 2009, 12:00am

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will become a target in a legislators' debate on the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown at Wednesday's full council meeting.

It will also be the first time that there have been four amendments - all put forward by pan-democrats - to the original motion, to be moved by unionist Lee Cheuk-yan. This calls for the vindication of the1989 democracy movement.

One amendment, proposed by the Civic Party's Tanya Chan, targets Mr Tsang, saying his remarks on the June 4 incident could not represent the opinions of Hong Kong people. Her amendment also states that the legislature 'expresses grave dismay and anger at such remarks'.

Mr Tsang was forced to apologise last week after claiming to speak for 'Hong Kong people' in expressing hopes for an 'objective assessment' of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in the light of China's economic development. He later said he did not mean what he said and apologised.

At yesterday's Legislative Council special house committee meeting, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen declined to comment when asked by Democrat lawmaker Kam Nai-wai about his views on the June 4 crackdown or whether he would join the annual vigil in Victoria Park this year.

Speaking in Taipei, Wang Dan, a key figure in the 1989 student-led protests, said Mr Tsang's remarks were inappropriate. 'An objective assessment should not be based only on economic development. It also needs to consider the country's political and human rights situations.'

The pro-Beijing camp is not expected to speak at the debate and no government official will be present to make a reply.

A similar motion was debated by the pre-handover legislature in 1997 and it passed. Other amendments will see Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats call for universal suffrage and an end to one-party rule on the mainland. Cheung Man-kwong of the Democratic Party will urge the government to include the June 4 incident in the secondary school curriculum, while party colleague Albert Ho Chun-yan wants the mainland to endorse Charter 08 - a pro-democracy petition initiated by intellectuals and human rights activists.