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Hong Kong localism and independence

Hong Kong history group mulls lawsuit over report in state-run newspaper

Watershed founder wants Ta Kung Pao to withdraw article associating group with pro-independence stance

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 10:19am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 2:53pm

A local historical interest group said it might bring state-run Chinese-language newspaper Ta Kung Pao to court after it published a report that associated the group with a pro-Hong Kong independence political stance.

Watershed, which was founded in August 2015 with a mission to raise awareness of the city’s forgotten history, said on its Facebook page that the report was defamatory.

The group also said it did not support Hong Kong independence.

Founder Taurus Yip sent the newspaper a legal letter asking it to publish a statement withdrawing the report both in print and online within seven days from Thursday. Ta Kung Pao was also asked to apologise.

History buffs re-enact Battle of Hong Kong on the streets to remind city of home-grown heroes’ defence against Japanese

The group said it might raise a lawsuit if the newspaper failed to comply.

The report was published on Ta Kung Pao’s front and second page on January 5.

Last month, the group organised a “Living Monuments” event to commemorate the deaths of homegrown war heroes at the Battle of Hong Kong – the 18-day standoff that ended when the British surrendered the city to Japan on Christmas Day, 1941. Hong Kong went on to endure three years and eight months of Japanese occupation.

Thirty volunteers dressed as and acting like soldiers from the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (HKVDC) distributed cards to remind people about the history of the battle.

The newspaper was not available for comment on Thursday.