New 'patriotic' group fighting their cause hears liaison office has told central authorities their demands Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong has for the first time sent a report to the central authorities on the demands of the 7,000 mainland-born children of Hong Kong parents who were denied right of abode following the NPC's 2001 Basic Law interpretation. The move was revealed by liaison office official Peng Qiuyun at a meeting on Sunday of a new 'patriotic' abode seekers' group - whose goal is to pursue family reunions in the interests of the nation and Hong Kong, according to leaflets it gave out. The Request for Family Reunion Association's rules prevent members gathering or petitioning Beijing without the permission of group leaders. But Chow Kwok-fai, the parent of a failed abode seeker who went to Sunday's meeting, said: 'Mr Peng is helping us sincerely. It's too early to say if we're being used as a political tool.' Political analysts believe the move is a vote-getting exercise ahead of Legislative Council polls. The developments come after a series of meetings since late last year involving liaison office staff, Ma Lik - the chairman of the pro-government Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong - and various groups representing the failed abode seekers. Some of those denied abode are living in hiding in Hong Kong. The liaison office initially told the groups it had received many of their petitions and wanted to discuss with them how they could help. Mr Peng and Mr Ma then met the parents' groups several times. Both attended Sunday's meeting, where Mr Peng disclosed he had sent a report to Beijing, but did not say what it contained. Chung Yik-chuen, who helped set up the new group, said neither the liaison office nor the DAB had interfered in the 400-strong group's organisation. Mr Ma denied a political agenda to his involvement. Ivan Choy Chi-keung, of City University, said: 'There may be some considerations for the Legco election.' Another analyst, Li Pang-kwong, of Lingnan University, said the idea could be to reduce support for the pro-democracy camp. Both men also said the liaison office's actions could be seen as a reaction to last year's huge July 1 anti-government protest. A January 1999 Court of Final Appeal ruling granted right of abode to Chinese citizens born outside the city if one parent was a permanent Hong Kong resident at the time. But Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa asked the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to reinterpret the Basic Law. It ruled those born before their parents acquired residency were not entitled to abode. In January 2002, the court found the abode seekers now fighting to live legally in Hong Kong were subject to Beijing's reinterpretation because they were not parties to the 1999 litigation. The liaison office did not return call for comment yesterday.