apfelhyk

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2003-07-02 06:05:36 (UTC)

Yesterday(1st july)was a day..

Yesterday(1st july)was a day Hong Kong people should be proud of.many
Hong Kong people now feel they are fighting to retain their own amid
fears that their rights will be curbed by the legislation under
Article 23 of the Basic Law.
this demonstration i have never seen b4.i wanted to join
them.but as u know,i got to work in the public holiday.i
called bad brother that day.i told him about this.but he
doesnt know it at all.lol and i dont know how to say.i have
just bought newspaper today.hehe..It was the largest
protest in Hong Kong.sigh..dunno why there are so many
things happened in hk this yr.
wanna know the news in hk?here you are:
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of protesters
took to Hong Kong's streets on Tuesday to denounce the
government and its planned anti-subversion law in the
city's biggest demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen
Square massacre.

"Return rule to the people," they chanted as the rally
began to denounce the bill which critics say will impose
Beijing-style control over free speech and the media.

Brandishing banners, umbrellas and fans, many wore black on
a sweltering day to mourn what they said was the demise of
rights and freedoms in one of the world's key financial
centres.
Critics say the law, which Beijing has been pressing Hong
Kong to enact, poses the biggest threat to basic rights in
the former British colony since it reverted to Chinese rule
in 1997.

Earlier, a group of protesters burned the Communist Party
flag as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao tried to reassure the
territory that its freedoms would be protected. But the
afternoon march was peaceful.

By nightfall, organisers said around 500,000 people had
turned out, while police said they counted at least 350,000
people as of 6 p.m.. It was the largest protest in Hong
Kong since 1989, when a million turned out after troops
killed hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in the
Chinese capital.

The government has said it would not back down on the
national security legislation regardless of Tuesday's
turnout. Despite renewed criticism from the United States
and Britain, the bill is bound to be passed by the
territory's legislature, which is packed with pro-Beijing
and pro-government supporters.


Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, who was mocked on
many of the placards, issued a statement saying it was the
government's responsibility to pass the security law as
required by the Basic Law, its mini-constitution.

"The government has promised the rights and freedom enjoyed
in Hong Kong now won't be affected by the legislation," he
said.

The anti-subversion measures, to be enshrined as Article 23
of the Basic Law, were the prime target of many of the
protesters. But others said they were frustrated by the
government's handling of the ailing economy and the SARS
(news - web sites) epidemic, which killed some 300 people
in the territory.

Marchers came from all walks of life with retirees and
young couples pushing baby strollers walking alongside
veteran democracy supporters, highlighting the depth of
dissatisfaction with the government. Many were
demonstrating for the first time.

PUBLIC ANGER

Political commentator Andy Ho said he was not surprised by
the extent of public anger.


"Those who have come out are from all walks of life, and
are not only opposed to Article 23 but a host of government
policies," Ho told Reuters.


"This should serve as a wake-up call for the government. If
it does not heed people's views, grievances will deepen and
it will make it more difficult for it to rule Hong Kong."


The flag-burning took place a few hundred metres (yards)
from the convention centre where Wen and local leaders were
celebrating the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong's return to
China.

In what are believed to be the first public comments by a
senior Chinese leader on the controversial issue, Wen
repeatedly assured Hong Kong that its special status would
be protected.

"The legislation according to Article 23 will not affect
the different rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong
people, including journalists, under the law," Wen told
reporters.

He did not refer to Tuesday's marchers directly, but said
stability was the key to the territory's long-term
prosperity.

Though Hong Kong was promised a high degree of autonomy
after the handover, critics say there has been a subtle
roll-back of freedoms, especially as it grows more
economically dependent on the mainland.

The government's push to pass the law this month has stoked
concerns that any dissent may soon be treated the same way
it is in China. Beijing fears that without the law, Hong
Kong will be used as a base for subversive activities
against it.

The Falun Gong (news - web sites) spiritual group for
instance practises freely in Hong Kong but has been banned
in China as an "evil cult".

Under the legislation, people can be jailed for life if
convicted of subversion, treason or secession from China.
It also allows gives police sweeping search powers without
court orders.

But the government's much-criticised handling of the bill
and many other issues may have set the stage for a bigger
battle.

Its refusal to allow more consultation and widespread anger
at Tung have spurred calls for more democracy and may have
galvanised generations into becoming more politically
active.

"The government is trying to use the law to suppress
people's views and voices," said lawyer Terry Chan. "Tung's
government is a malignant tumour on society... If we let
this fester, Hong Kong will die."



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