China’s silencing of Tiananmen tributes extends to Hong Kong – News Vibe24

    China's silencing of Tiananmen tributes extends to Hong Kong - Times of India
    HONG KONG: For years, China has cut off any talk of the mainland over the 1989 bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, erasing almost everything that happened from the collective conscience. Now it may be Hong Kong’s turn, as China’s ruling Communist Party pulls the city more directly into orbit.
    The semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong and nearby Macao were for years the last places on Chinese soil allowed to publicly mark the events of June 4, 1989, when the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on student-led protesters in a crackdown. left hundreds, if not thousands, dead.
    Last year, tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park each year, lighting candles and songs to remember the victims. However, authorities, citing the Koran virus pandemic, are banning this vigilance for the second year in a row. And a museum dedicated to the event suddenly closed on Wednesday, just two days before Friday’s anniversary, after authorities investigated it because they did not have the necessary permits to hold a public exhibition.
    Hong Kong’s security minister warned residents last week not to attend unauthorized assemblies.
    In mainland China, younger generations have grown up with little knowledge or discussion about repression, but efforts to quell Hong Kong celebrations reflect another shift in Beijing’s increasingly tight control of Hong Kong following massive anti-government protests in 2019. These demonstrations turned into months of sometimes violent clashes between smaller groups of protesters and police. And they led to a wider crackdown on dissent in the former British colony, which had long been an oasis of capitalism and democracy and promised to retain much of its freedoms for 50 years when it returned to China in 1997.
    In the wake of the protests, China has imposed a sweeping national security law aimed in part at imposing tougher sanctions on protesters, and authorities have sought to arrest almost all of the city’s most sincere and prominent figures in democracy. Most are either behind bars or have left the city.
    Despite the restrictions this year, there are calls for Hong Kong to remember the 1989 crackdown privately, with organizers asking residents to light a candle at 8 p.m. on Friday, wherever they are.
    Online calls circulating on social media also called on residents to dress in black on Friday. The local newspaper Ming Pao published an article last week suggesting that residents write the numbers six and four on their light switches – a nod for the June 4 date – so every turn of the switch is also an act of remembrance.
    For decades, Chan Kin Wing has been following the project regularly in Hong Kong.
    “I was lucky to be born in Hong Kong. “If I had been born on the mainland, I could have been one of the students in Tiananmen Square that day,” said Chan, whose parents left the mainland for Hong Kong in the 1960s.
    “When it happened on June 4, 1989, the whole of Hong Kong saw the indelible historical event of students being slaughtered by a corrupt regime,” Chan said.
    This year, Chan intends to remember the event privately, dressed in black and changing his profile picture on social media to an image of a lighted candle in the dark.
    “I have decided to never forget June 4 and I try to transfer his memories to ensure that he will never be forgotten,” he said.
    In mainland China, the Tiananmen Mothers group representing relatives of the victims posted an appeal on the Human Rights website in China, urging the party to comply with their long-held demands for full release of official files on repression, compensation and compensation for victims. those responsible to be accountable.
    “We look forward to the day when the CPC and the Chinese government can honestly and courageously set the record and take their due responsibility for the 1989 massacre against humanity in accordance with the law and the facts,” the statement said. .
    The government, however, seems to intend to exhaust the objections.
    While the Tiananmen mothers said 62 of its members had died since the group was founded in the late 1990s, many young Chinese said, “They grew up with a false sense of well-being and impose government praise (and) have not idea or refusal to believe what happened on June 4, 1989, in the nation’s capital. ”
    In Hong Kong, the recent arrests and convictions of prominent activists have had a devastating effect on those involved in the past, said Tong Hong Tung, vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance for Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement of China. .
    “Obviously there will be fear and people cannot just assume that they can come and express their memory of the victims of the Tiananmen massacre and be unharmed,” he said.
    Chou said what keeps her going is the dream that China and Hong Kong will both one day have a democracy. The tide, however, seems to be going in the other direction.
    “This is something worth fighting for,” he said. “If one day we could not talk about the Tiananmen, that would mean that Hong Kong is completely assimilated to Chinese society.”

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