THE Chinese Government put a tight lid on the capital yesterday for the sixth anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and the day passed almost without incident. In Hong Kong, observance of the anniversary attracted almost 20,000 people to a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park last night. Organisers, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, vowed to continue to press for greater democracy on the mainland beyond 1997. Officials told the rally that with continued public support, the alliance would survive the handover to Chinese sovereignty. Its chairman, Szeto Wah, said the pursuit of social harmony did not mean the public should shut up. 'The Chinese Government has told people to forget about June 4. But have they forgotten? 'They have kept the atmosphere tense every year. They have made arrests. 'If they have really been able to forget it, they should release all jailed dissidents.' Beijing security has been so tight only two commemorative activities were known to have taken place in the capital yesterday. A prominent dissident Chen Ziming staged a one-day hunger strike at his home. And unknown mourners hurled hundreds of yellow paper slips in the air in the sun-splashed square - a traditional Chinese offering of 'money' to the dead. The paper-throwers were whisked away by some of the hundreds of police in the square and their handiwork swiftly cleaned up, according to Western diplomats who witnessed the act. Another lone protester scattering paper money in the north end of the square at about 7.30 pm was reported to have been taken away too, but that could not be independently confirmed. Ten uniformed police also descended on two Worldwide Television News cameramen, who were detained for an identity check and told to leave. They also confiscated the film of a Reuter photographer. Elsewhere in the capital the streets were unusually quiet with many bars and restaurants shut. Police entered Chen's northern Beijing home yesterday afternoon to talk to him while he fasted, a relative said by telephone. They made no attempt to take him away. Chen, a 42-year-old intellectual released on parole from a 13-year prison sentence, said he demanded the release of other activists including Ren Wanding, Liu Gang, Gao Yu and Bi Yimin. Chen, who is under de facto house arrest, also became the first to ask for the freeing of the former general secretary of the Communist Party, Zhao Ziyang, who was dismissed in 1989. In the run-up to the June 4 anniversary the authorities arrested at least 50 dissidents and mounted guard around the houses of many other prominent intellectuals. This year's anniversary was notable for the larger than usual number of signed petitions demanding, among other things, the re-examination of the verdict on the demonstrations. Yet it was also marked by the absence of even the smallest gesture from Beijing students. On the campuses students did not carry out the past practice of smashing bottles, a criticism of Deng Xiaoping whose first name sounds like 'little bottle' in Chinese. Graduate students told foreigners yesterday that they had lost interest in politics, while the undergraduates said that the events were now in the past. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) yesterday issued one report which described approvingly how students were watching films, dancing, 'reading newspapers and playing guitars'. Another report from Xinhua described how local residents had enjoyed 'relaxing themselves in the open air' and that the square yesterday was 'a scene almost for everyday'. The official media has studiously avoided all direct reference to the events of 1989, the biggest anti-government demonstrations since 1949. Yet the authorities reminded most Beijing citizens of its vulnerability by taking minute care to head off any potential unrest in the city. Some citizens were indignant at the police presence. 'All these police in the streets, in parks, everywhere - think how much this costs. And it is completely unnecessary,' a Beijing woman said. 'But the fact that they do this means they recognise that what they did on June 4 was wrong.' An intellectual who took part in the 1989 protests said students who wanted to mark the anniversary were thwarted. 'Government control was just too strict,' he said. The leaders of all work units were warned they would be held responsible if any of their workers were caught getting into trouble. Party secretaries held meetings to warn people to keep off the streets. As well as closing discotheques, restaurants, art galleries and similar venues, locals and some foreigners were asked by the authorities to postpone parties and public meetings of any kind. At Beijing University the authorities cancelled football matches, seized an English language newsletter and patrolled notice boards to stop anyone putting up posters. The streets in the university district were filled with patrol cars and the entrances to key universities closely watched. Every intersection was watched by at least 10 policemen.