The annual mourning over the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre should come to an end, and Hong Kong people should focus instead on local social movements, the student union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said on the 28th anniversary of the June 4 incident.
In a statement issued on the eve of the annual vigil, the union also accused the organizer, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, of using the “moral sentiment” of the public “to build up its political capital”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Tens of thousands of people gathered at Victoria Park on Sunday for the candlelight vigil to mark the 28th anniversary of China’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tianamen Square.
Organizers said the event drew some 110,000 people, enough to fill more than six football pitches, although police estimated the crowd at 18,000, Reuters reported.
The CUHK student union said it will no longer organize or take part in any June 4-related events, noting that the Tiananmen incident no longer holds significance for members of the young generation.
Hong Kong people should instead focus their attention on local political movements, such as the Umbrella Movement of 2014 and the Fishball Revolution in Mong Kok in 2016.
Reacting to the student union’s statement, “a group of CUHK people” circulated an online petition condemning the union for being ignorant, cold-blooded, lazy and inhumane towards the blatant injustice of the June 4 crackdown.
The group also said the union wanted to distance itself from the annual vigil but did not put forward any practical proposals.
It said their petition was supported by over 1,000 CUHK teaching staff, students, alumni and citizens as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
In another statement, the Society of the Department of Government and Public Administration at CUHK said the June 4 vigils do not present any obstructions to Hong Kong in seeking its own destiny.
An open society should promote democracy with an all-encompassing attitude, it said.
Former CUHK student union president Tommy Cheung Sau-yin also assailed the current union’s statement, saying it was disrespectful to citizens who have taken part in previous vigils.
Cheung is advocating that the June 4 incident be included in the teaching curriculum of history subjects for local students.
Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, told public broadcaster RTHK that there are no contradictions between mourning the victims of the June 4 massacre and discussing local political issues.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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