LEGISLATOR Martin Lee Chu-ming's leadership of Hong Kong's democratic movement received further recognition yesterday when he was awarded the Liberal International Freedom Prize. 'Our prize is an indication that we will not stay silent and watch democracy being snuffed out,' said Liberal International President Sir David Steel in Edinburgh yesterday. Sir David said it was outrageous that China had excluded any member of the most successful party in Hong Kong's elections from the committee preparing for transition to Chinese control in 1997. Mr Lee, chairman of the Democratic Party, said he was delighted about the award. 'I think I can't claim all the credit - it's something that I will share with the people of Hong Kong. We are all pushing towards democracy, and it's not an easy thing to do when China is pressing against it. I am proud of my people.' Mr Lee said he would have nominated imprisoned Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng for the award. 'Wei Jingsheng went to jail in his fight for democracy - and I think all people who were put in jail for the cause of liberty should receive an award.' Wei is serving his second term in prison after being sentenced for leaking national secrets to foreigners last year. Sir David also said Burma had stopped him from visiting Rangoon to present a freedom prize to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He said Burmese authorities told him it was 'not convenient' when he sought a visa after Ms Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Liberal International Freedom Prize a year ago. He was eventually promised permission for a visit in April, but was told last week it was not convenient. 'We cannot be strung along any further,' Sir David told the World Council of Liberals. 'The Burmese Government has failed to pursue the path of restoring democracy.'