Alliance pledges massacre memorial

A PRESSURE group, labelled by China as subversive, has pledged to use some of its $6 million savings to commemorate the June 4 Beijing massacre after the change in sovereignty.

The Hong Kong Alliance for Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, which rose to prominence in the run-up to the June 4 killings in 1989, said it would continue its activities after Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China.

Its spokesman, legislator Cheung Man-kwong, said the group would increase its publicity over the next few years to remind people of the need for democracy in China.

He was optimistic the $6 million would be enough for any activities needed to promote democratic movement before and after 1997.

The alliance spends about $1.5 million each year supporting Chinese dissidents who live either in Hong Kong or overseas.

Mr Cheung refused to say how many dissidents the group had helped.

He said the alliance would continue to raise funds, although he admitted donations were often small - just enough to cover expenses for each fund-raising function.

The alliance launched yesterday a three-day campaign in Causeway Bay to deliver 40,000 Easter eggs, symbolising the ''bright future'' of the democratic movement in China.

The campaign will be followed by many other activities over the next two months to commemorate the June 4 massacre.

A volunteer, John Tse Wing-ling, said: ''Hong Kong people are very pragmatic. They forget things too easily and need these kind of reminders. The closer the take-over of sovereignty, the more publicity is necessary to prevent people from remaining silentin the face of the intensifying threats from Beijing.'' Alliance members were confident that what they had done over the past five years had made China ''a little bit'' more democratic.

''China's varied policies on dissidents these few years show the impact of the democratic fighters both from Hong Kong and other parts of the world,'' another spokesman for the alliance, Lee Cheuk-yan, said.

He also dismissed speculation that alliance members would step down after 1997.

''We stood up five years ago. We're standing up and we'll stand up after 1997,'' he said.