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Hong Kong moves to remove more Tiananmen massacre memorials

Hong Kong moves to remove more Tiananmen massacre memorials

Goddess of Democracy statue in Hong Kong's Victoria Park (file photo)

Hong Kong: With Chinese government's thrust to wipe off reminders of the Tiananmen Square protests, and the same spreading to Hong Kong territory, now universities in Hong Kong have are removing memorials of the suppression of pro-democracy demonstration in the Chinese capital Beijing in 1989.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong early Friday morning took down the 'Goddess of Democracy' a statue based on a figure created by art students and brought to the square shortly before the crackdown in which hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed.

The removal of the monuments speaks for the ruling Communist Party's attempts to erase the bloody events from the public consciousness. It also runs in parallel with the territory's efforts to suppress the democratic aspirations of the people of Hong Kong.

The casualty on Thursday was a monument at the University of Hong Kong which was dismantled, and thus was removed one of the city's last remaining places of public commemoration of the crackdown.

The government has never provided a figure on casualties and the pro-democracy movement remains a taboo topic in mainland China. Hong Kong and Macao, the two semi-autonomous territories, transferred to China in 1997 and 1999 respectively by Britain and Portugal, but under agreement to maintain their separate administrative system for 50 years, were the only places on Chinese soil where commemorations of Tiananmen Square crackdown were allowed until authorities banned annual candlelight vigils for two consecutive years.

In a statement, Chinese University confirmed the removal of the statue and claimed that it had never even authorized its display and that no organization has claimed responsibility for its maintenance and management.

Separately, Lingnan University also removed a base relief memorial wall display dedicated to the memory of the June 4 movement.

The university's decision was predicated on the overall protection of the university community after a recent assessment," government-run Hong Kong Radio Television reported.

(With PTI inputs)

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TAGS:Hong Kong actionTiananmen square memorieswipe off symbols of 1989 crackdownGoddess of Democracy statue
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