Candlelight vigils, memorial ceremonies, panel discussions held in
Charles Snyder in Washington
EXILED Chinese dissidents on both the east and west coast of the
United States marked the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square
incident with candlelight vigils, memorial ceremonies, panel
discussions and other events as members of Congress and human rights
groups planned their own commemorations.
President Bill Clinton made a point of recalling the 1989 crackdown in
his 3 June announcement extending normal trade relations with China
for another year.
"A decade ago at Tiananmen, when Chinese citizens courageously
demonstrated for democracy, they were met by violence from a regime
fearful of change," Mr Clinton said.
"We continue to speak and work strongly for human rights in China."
Greater bilateral trade, he said, will foster social change and
Hundreds of overseas Chinese and human rights activists were planning
a candlelight vigil in a small park in front of the Chinese embassy in
Washington on Friday evening. The event, organised by the Independent
Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, will feature speeches by
noted dissidents, rights activists and, perhaps one or two
Earlier in the day, a memorial ceremony was planned in Portsmouth
Square in San Francisco in which severe China human rights critic,
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, will be a speaker. Ms Pelosi
was the chief sponsor of a resolution passed by the House of
Representatives last week condemning Beijing's rights record, urging
an official re-evaluation of June 4 by Beijing, calling for the
release of political prisoners, the punishment of those responsible
for the killings, compensation for victims' families and the lifting
of the blacklist on overseas dissidents.
On Thursday, a 2.85-metre replica of the Goddess of Democracy was
unveiled at Freedom Park in Rosslyn, Virginia, across the Potomac
River from Washington by the Freedom Forum. The 270kg bronze statue is
a copy of a statue found in San Francisco's Chinatown.
In New York, the exiled dissident group Human Rights in China held a
memorial from Thursday night to Friday morning in which testimonials
were read honouring those killed in the crackdown.
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