Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 3 News List

HK activists to take part in seminar on territory's proposed security law

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two Hong Kong democracy activists instrumental in the fight against a proposed national security law for the territory are slated to join experts from Taiwan and China for a seminar on the law's implication for Hong Kong and Taiwan, the organizer said yesterday.

Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong (蔡耀昌), spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front (民間人權陣線), as well as Emily Lau (劉慧卿), a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, will join the Sunday morning seminar, said the organizer, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (台灣民主基金會).

The seminar will be the first democracy-related activity the government-funded foundation has sponsored since it was inaugurated last month.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which is affiliated with more than 40 civil rights groups in Hong Kong, organized the massive July 1 demonstration against the proposed security law that attracted more than 500,000 people.

Lau, a journalist turned lawmaker, has been vocal in her opposition to the law which she says will be detrimental to freedom of the press in the territory.

Hong Kong authorities announced on Monday that they would defer passage of the legislation, which had been scheduled for a vote today.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will be the keynote speaker at the seminar, according to the organizer's tentative schedule.

Another attendee will be exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹), who arrived in Taipei last month to take up a six-week-long artist-in-residence post in the city. Local experts and academics such as Michael Hsiao (蕭新煌), a research fellow at Academia Sinica and Byron Weng (翁松燃), a professor at National Chi Nan University have also been invited.

Cheng An-kuo (鄭安國), a former general manager of the Chung Hwa Travel Service, Taiwan's representative office in Hong Kong, will also attend, organizers said yesterday.

In 1999, Cheng defended former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) "special state-to-state" model of Taipei-Beijing relations, a move which reportedly led Hong Kong authorities to withhold his work visa at the end of that year. The uproar over Cheng's visa affected ties between Hong Kong and Taipei.

The seminar will be televised.

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