Friday, May 22, 2009

We Remember

More voices are calling for the Chinese government to recognize its
responsibility for what happened 20 years ago this June.

Last week it was the political bombshell of Zhao Ziyang's memoirs that
will soon be published, telling the world his side of the story and
trying to reinstate himself in the history books.

This week a former senior censor who helped Zhao record his voice on
his precious cassette tapes is also pushing for accountability for
Tiananmen Square.

Du Daozheng, reformist chief of the General Administration of Press
and Publications in the late 1980s helped Zhao with his recordings
before he died under house arrest in 2005.

Two decades on, Du felt it was time to rehabilitate Zhao, who was
ousted from the party and his post as General Secretary weeks before
the crackdown in 1989.

"At the major historic juncture of June 4, Zhao Ziyang acted
responsibly to the Chinese nation, to history and to ordinary people,"
he said in a statement that will be published in the Chinese version
of Zhao's memoirs.

His is not the only defiant voice.

A small group of intellectuals met recently in the outskirts of
Beijing pushing for this "secret" to be out in the open and

"As time has passed, this massive secret has become a massive vacuum.
Everyone avoids it, skirts around it," Cui Weiping, a Beijing-based
academic, said during the meeting.

"This secret is in fact a toxin poisoning the air around us and
affecting our whole lives and spirit," he added.

Also a few weeks earlier, the mothers of those who died gathered for a
private memorial in Beijing on condition of no media allowed. They
confirmed the memorial after the event.

Apparently hanging on the wall of one of the homes they met in was a
couplet that read: "Seeking truth is the basic right of Tiananmen
mothers" and "Upholding justice is the hope in the deep darkness of
the night."

They are still trying to seek justice two decades after their sons and
daughters died after the government ordered the soldiers to fire on
these young unarmed people.

Tan Shuqin, a mother who lost her daughter, made a memorial speech at
that gathering:

"Our courageous, intelligent, heroic and innocent sons and daughters,
we have by no means forgotten you all, although 20 years have passed.
All Tiananmen mothers will resolve ourselves to [seeking justice]
without hesitation and we do believe your grievances will be resolved
some day. May you rest in peace, our beloved children."

We cannot forget them either.

Wang Dan, one of the leading student leaders at the time and now
exiled in the United States is calling for "White Clothes Day" to
remember those who died. He is urging people to wear white, the colour
of mourning in Chinese culture on June 4.

We can all do this -- and most importantly make a statement to the
Chinese government to remind them -- we still remember.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The state needs to maintain its supreme power in a dictatorial political system. This is obvious. It takes a longer time for the China to become matured. It will come.