Hundreds expected to turn up to candlelight ceremony at Pillar of Shame and then march to liaison office in support of 'symbol of pro-democracy movement' University students are to commemorate the death of former reformist leader Zhao Ziyang with a candlelight vigil tomorrow followed by a rally outside the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government to protest over the June 4 Tiananmen massacre. The Hong Kong Federation of Students, organiser of the vigil at the University of Hong Kong, is expecting hundreds of students to turn up. Students across campuses have been informed about the event by e-mails sent out by student unions. The participants will gather next to the Pillar of Shame statue, the work of Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot, that depicts 50 twisted human bodies and was made following the June 4 massacre in support of the human rights movement in the mainland. The statue has been at the podium of the Haking Wong Building since June 1999. Federation spokesman Chan Kai-chun, who is also president of Baptist University Student Union, said students would demand public memorial services be held for the late leader and that Zhao be vindicated. Douglas Wong Chi-yeung, vice-president of City University Student Union, said: 'Zhao is a symbol for the pro-democracy movement in China. His death may undermine the push for reform there.'' He was five when he went to the mass rally held in Hong Kong the day after the massacre with his parents. 'I have read up about June 4 in books and in school since then,'' he said. With university approval, Polytechnic University Students' Union has put a two-metre Goddess of Democracy statue - originally made by the Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China as a replica of the statue erected in Tiananmen Square during the student movement in 1989 - at the university's amenities building. 'It is a sign of our hope for democracy to flourish in China and the 1989 pro-democracy movement to be vindicated,'' said union president Lai Chun-kit. He said he was optimistic there would be a positive response to the referendum planned for next month to gauge students' views on keeping the statute in place permanently. Other efforts have also been made to increase students' awareness of the pro-democracy movement, including an exhibition at Chinese University on Zhao's reform efforts. 'It is pathetic that Zhao was under house arrest for 15 years. He objected to using force against students and ended up being suppressed. 'We feel that if China really wants to open itself up to the world, it should be open to dissenting views and pay attention to human rights issues,'' said CUHK Student Union external vice-president Lo Hong-yin, an organiser of tomorrow's event. She said students knew more about the situation in China than before because of the vast job market there but that many were too preoccupied with their studies and finding work to pay attention to the democracy issue. 'If we do not consolidate students' awareness of what happened, they will soon forget about it,'' she said. HKBU Student Union has distributed more than 1,000 copies of booklets on campus containing information about Zhao's life before and after his house arrest in 1989. Some HKBU students have already expressed their feelings for Zhao in writing on the democracy wall on campus. One praised Zhao's courage and called him 'the people's hero'. Another, written by the university's Chinese Affairs Association, gave their verdict on the June 4 massacre, saying: 'The students were wrong. The government was wrong. Zhao Ziyang was also wrong.' HKBU Student Union's Chan said it produced and distributed a special booklet on the June 4 crackdown every year, and that more than 3,000 copies had been circulated so far.