Donald Tsang should pay tribute to all those who died defending HK

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 August, 2010, 12:00am

I was appalled to read that Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen would not attend the ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of world war two. ('Veterans of Hong Kong battle feel forgotten on anniversary', August 8).

I was particularly appalled as so few survivors now remain to give testament.

We must take the opportunity this anniversary gives us to listen, to thank and to be thankful for what we now have.

It is speculated that the lack of respect shown by our government is because of a desire to downplay our colonial history.

If this is true then I deplore our officials for it.

After all, adding up what our colonial past has given to us, where is the real cause for complaint?

Do we not have a thriving, wealthy community with an enviable rule of law and a high level of personal freedom?

A vast majority of Chinese now living in Hong Kong came here to escape the loss of just these things in China.

Whether for economic gain or safety many local people's ancestors had reason to be grateful to our colonial past, warts and all.

And did not thousands of troops from other Commonwealth countries die trying to protect us as did many courageous local resistance fighters?

In failing, atrocities large and small were rained upon all the people of Hong Kong dropping our population from 1.6 million before the invasion to 600,000 after.

We should not forget the horrors that war visits upon all who suffer it, whether actively or passively.

As I read of the tension building up between China and her Asian neighbours over the disputed islands of the South China Sea (let's face it, you can practically swim to the Spratleys from the Philippines) and the face-off becoming more aggressive with the United States, can you think of a better moment to remember, to mourn and yes, to reconcile that colonial past with this vibrant city we are all proud to call home?

Let the flags fly and the tears fall so that our leaders remember to protect our future.

Karen Prochazka, Shouson Hill