A group called Watershed staged a memorial ceremony and called on Hongkongers not to forget Liberation Day and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the city in World War II, Apple Daily reported Monday.
Watershed, a group of graduating students from the University of Hong Kong, held the ceremony Sunday at the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Chai Wan.
No government officials attended, but more than a hundred citizens showed up in support.
After the change of sovereignty in 1997, the government cancelled the public holiday that used to mark Liberation Day.
Representatives of HKOR Benevolent Association Ltd., formed by retired Chinese soldiers, and more than a dozen retired British soldiers took part in the ceremony Sunday, laying flowers at the monument to Commonwealth and allied troops.
Student representatives from the Hong Kong University Students’ Union (HKUSU) and the Baptist University Students’ Union also took part.
On Aug. 30, 1945, British Admiral Cecil Harcourt’s fleet entered Victoria Harbour and resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong, which had been captured by the Japanese.
HKOR Benevolent chairman Roger Ching Yuen-ki said the contribution of the British, Canadian, British-Chinese and other foreign soldiers to the defence of Hong Kong during the war was being played down by the government.
After 1997, retired soldiers have usually gone abroad to take part in activities to mark Liberation Day, Ching said.
HKUSU chairman Billy Fung Jing-en said it is important for Hongkongers to gain a thorough understanding of the history of their city.
The government is deliberately trying to wipe out a part of Hong Kong’s history for political reasons, Fung said.
He said he was taking part to mourn the university students who lost their lives in the defense of Hong Kong.
Watershed spokesman Lee Kai-dik said Liberation Day on Aug. 30 and the official Victory Day on Sept. 3 can co-exist, as they are both associated with the war against the Japanese during World War II.
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