The 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing was corrupted by money donated by people in Hong Kong, alleged a leader of a youth group, who claimed Tiananmen students armed hit teams to kill soldiers before the crackdown. The claims made in RTHK's City Forum yesterday by guest speaker Stanley Lui, convenor of the Hong Kong Youth Development Network, prompted instant condemnation. In the forum, held to discuss the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing that resulted in the People's Liberation Army's crackdown in Tiananmen Square, Mr Lui said it was inappropriate for people to call for a vindication of those killed before students in Hong Kong learned what he called the truth. 'The students had no weapons? I don't believe it. When the soldiers moved into the square, [student leader] Chai Ling organised dare-to-die squads ... how can they kill the PLA with no weapons?' Mr Lui said. 'Before June 4, the students were patriotic. But towards the end, when external forces intervened, the nature of the movement changed.' The 'external forces' he referred to included legislator Lee Cheuk-yan, who was at the time a representative sent from Hong Kong to bring students cash and tents donated by Hongkongers. Mr Lui's comment caused an uproar. The forum's moderator, Joseph Tse Chi-fung, a former ATV journalist who covered the crackdown in Tiananmen, said the students were peaceful and unarmed. 'At the time, the so-call dare-to-die squads were only people on bicycles,' he shouted, pointing at Mr Lui. 'Since when did the nature of the movement change? Tell me, since when?' Another speaker, Szeto Wah, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said: 'Lies written in ink cannot cover history written in blood. The assessment of June 4 is a test for people's conscience.' The rowdy forum, held days ahead of the sensitive anniversary, touched on another controversial issue when Lew Mon-hung, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said it was too early to include the June 4 incident in school history textbooks 'before the truth is known'. But Ho Hon-kuen, vice-chairman of Education Convergence, said it was difficult to doubt the students' patriotism and an independent commission should be formed to investigate the crackdown. 'If a regime is afraid to face its history, it will pay a heavy price,' Mr Ho said. 'Even if only one student was killed, we should give them justice.' In a separate seminar, Ching Cheong, who in 1989 was deputy editor of Wen Wei Po, said Hong Kong continued to have a role to play in bringing democracy to the mainland. 'Only in Hong Kong do the candles remembering June 4 light up for 20 years,' he said. 'What have we done? We have been China's conscience, and we have to keep telling the truth.'