Sat, Jun 04, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Legislature remembers Tiananmen Massacre

‘END TERROR, DISASTER’:The commemorative ceremony was held at the legislature for the first time, which rights activists said would send a strong message to China

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Kolas Yotaka, left, front row, Yu Wan-ju, center, front row, Wellington Koo, right, front row, Tuan Yi-kang, left, back row, Yu Mei-nu, center, back row, and Chinese pro-democracy dissident Wuer Kaixi, left, back row, take part in a Tiananmen Square Commemoration at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

A commemorative ceremony for the Tiananmen Square Massacre was held at the Legislative Yuan for the first time yesterday, with lawmakers across party lines and civic organizations participating to support human rights and promote democracy in China.

Organized by the Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on International Human Rights, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu’s (尤美女) office, the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights (TACHR) and Friends of Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), led by exiled Chinese dissident Wuer Kaixi, the event was held to call on the Chinese government, on the 27th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, to stop preventing its people from learning about the incident, to admit responsibility and apologize for its mistakes, and to hold those carried out the massacre accountable.

The event also saw more than a dozen lawmakers sign an extempore motion, proposed by Yu, demanding that Taiwan’s executive agencies “express, at appropriate times, Taiwan’s serious concerns for the redressing of the June 4 [massacre] during future cross-strait meetings and exchanges.”

The Tiananmen Square Massacre is not just China’s problem, but represents a threat to the universal value of human rights, Yu said, adding that the group called on China to “put an end to terror and disaster” on the June 4 anniversary.

Wuer Kaixi said Liu has been behind bars since 2008 for drafting Charter 08, “which is absolutely legitimate, reasonable and representative of Chinese views on human rights in that it is in line with the People’s Republic of China’s own constitution.”

“It might seem that time goes faster for exiled dissidents than for those incarcerated and Tiananmen mothers, but the time definitely did not fly [for us]. My mother and father have been constantly harassed [by the Chinese authorities] and, for 27 years, have not seen their own son and their grandchildren born overseas. This is what China, touted to be a rising great power, does [to punish those stand against it] by implicating their whole families,” he said, adding that the China “we are facing today is a barbaric China.”

“In this uphill battle for Chinese democracy, we have received support from all over the world, including Taiwan,” Wuer Kaixi said.

“Martin Luther King once said: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Some young Hong Kongers have been proposing to stop commemorating June 4, saying that China’s democracy is the Chinese people’s own responsibility. That is absolutely right; we do not believe that it is Taiwanese or Hong Kongers’ responsibility. However, on this path to pursuing China’s democracy, we are sensing greater loneliness now and experiencing fading support around the world, probably due to China’s rising economic power,” he said.

Amid this kind of global environment, “today we see the taking place of a ceremony commemorating the June 4 incident in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan; it is almost like having someone pat our back on this dark, difficult, uphill road and tell us that we are not alone,” the exiled dissident said, adding that such support is especially warm when it comes from Taiwan, which also went through many ordeals to achieve its freedom and democracy.

TACHR chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) said he had just gotten off a plane, returning from the European Parliament’s committee hearing on China’s persecution against its people.

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