No love lost as Mothers pan slogan

A leader of Tiananmen Mothers accused the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China of being "foolish" in adopting the slogan "Love the Country, Love People, the Spirit of Hong Kong."

Eddie Luk

Friday, May 31, 2013

A leader of Tiananmen Mothers accused the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China of being "foolish" in adopting the slogan "Love the Country, Love People, the Spirit of Hong Kong."

Ding Zilin said "love the country" is similar in meaning to "love the party" in the mainland and people there have stopped using it.

"I don't really know why [organizers] raise such a slogan and it is foolish. Such a slogan is no longer being used in the mainland," Ding said yesterday on an RTHK radio program.

But she urged the public not to be dissuaded from attending the annual June 4 vigil in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, next week.

Ding said her 17-year-old son, Jiang Jielian, was among the first to be killed on June 4, 1989, when he was shot by riot police on his way to Tiananmen Square.

"Students who joined the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square raised the conception of patriotism," she said.

"However, the patriotism concept was twisted [by mainland authorities] so those who love the country have to love the Communist Party too."

But people should still join the vigil and express their concern at mainland political development, Ding added.

Alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said the strong reaction to the slogan has caught him by surprise.

Lee said loving the country does not mean loving the Communist Party.

"We hope that more citizens can attend the vigil to show Beijing that Hong Kong people have not forgotten the June 4 crackdown, regardless of [disputes] over the slogan."

Meanwhile, a University of Hong Kong survey shows that support for urging Beijing to vindicate the June 4 student movement has grown to a post- 1997 high.

The university public opinion program found 63percent of 1,000 people polled support the call, compared to 61percent last year. And 51 percent believe human rights has improved in the mainland, compared to 62percent last year.

Meanwhile, Scholarism convener Joshua Wong Chi-fung defended the pre-June 4 anniversary march on Sunday, saying it was held in a peaceful manner and coordinated with police.

Several protesters staged a brief sit-in on one lane of a road outside the Queensway Government Offices in Admiralty to demand the police open a lane for them to march to the central government liaison office in Western.