Saturday, November 28, 2015   

Struggling to understand the meaning of those fateful days

Pamela Pun

Friday, June 04, 1999

DESPITE the authorities' taboo on open discussion of the June 4

crackdown, mainland people who participated in the 1989 pro-democracy

movement have never forgotten the military crackdown.

Though ten years have passed, they are now trying to draw lessons from

the ill-fated movement.

"My colleagues and I well remember June 4 every year. How could we _

who had participated in the movement _ forget?" a woman now working

in the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, said.

"The atmosphere is more tense now than in previous years, therefore

we could only talk about it in private," she said.


As well as private conversations, people were keen on exchanging views

on the Internet.

In an apparent move to dilute the impact of the 10th anniversary of

the massacre, the municipal authorities have, since the end of last

month, blacked out all news reports and feature stories on the

crackdown aired by Hong Kong television broadcast through

government-run cable channels.

The authorities used to black out sensitive programs and replace them

with coloured bars.

However, this year the bars have been replaced with old news footage,

leaving viewers completely at a loss as to what was happening on the


In Beijing, where more than one million residents took to the streets

ten years ago, there is less enthusiasm than before.

"I helped my child do his homework until late every night recently. I

almost forget the 10th anniversary of June 4," an intellectual said.

He would not mention the anniversary at home so as not to affect his

child, who was due to sit the university entrance exam.

On campus, most students were busy studying for exams later this

month, a teacher said, adding the campus authorities believed the

anniversary would be passed in peace.

"The 10th anniversary has been diluted by the bombing of the Chinese

embassy in Belgrade," a Peking University student said.

"It is really ridiculous that this year, Washington ensured Beijing

passed the most sensitive anniversary in peace," the student said,

adding his classmates seldom mentioned the massacre.

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