Tuesday, November 25, 2014   




Chairman breaks silence on statue

Beatrice Siu

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chinese University vice-chancellor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee broke his silence on the "Goddess of Democracy" row, saying it was a collective and unanimous decision by a committee to ban the statue from the campus.

Lau chaired the university's administrative and planning committee which ruled against an application by the student union to display the statue at the Sha Tin campus so as to maintain its political neutrality. The goddess statue symbolizes the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown.

Lau's remarks differed from vice- chancellor designate Joseph Sung Jao-yiu who said on Monday that some members of the committee had different views on "political neutrality."

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Sung, who was not present when the decision was made, revealed that he had also once suggested changing the wording to "had not reached a consensus."

Lau stressed that personal political views do not interfere with the university's political neutrality.

"I am happy the incident could be solved peacefully. I hope [all parties] can remain rational and peaceful. Here I would like to thank their cooperation," he said.

But he disagreed with Sung's remarks that the handling of the decision to reject the application for permanent display of the statue was "immature" and "inexperienced."

All of the more than 20 members of the university's administrative and planning committee voted unanimously on the decision, Lau said, adding that it had undergone detailed consideration.

When asked if he would resign from his political positions, Lau said the university has to remain politically neutral.

"The university has to be politically neutral. Persons can have political views. When I am vice-chancellor, I am not politically inclined," he said.

He also denied that he was passing the problem to Sung.

The university issued another statement from Sung, saying that he acknowledged and agreed with the stance in the statement of rejecting the application, issued on June 2 but only "had different views on the wording."

The student union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong stated it was strongly dissatisfied that the university had not explained why it rejected the application due to "political neutrality."


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