A former Hong Kong member of the central government's top advisory body said on Sunday that three decades on, it's about time people are told the truth about the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown – that it was armed protesters who fired on soldiers.
Chang Ka Mun's claim came as Beijing said the killings 30 years ago were the right course of action to take, prompting local pan-dems to ask why, in that case, the central government suppresses all discussion of June 4.
At RTHK's City Forum, Chang who's a former member of the CPPCC, said what happened in the capital in 1989 cannot be described as a massacre, and he believes the pro-democracy protesters had used weapons, including machine guns, to attack soldiers sent to the capital.
Chang said there was a need for a crackdown to restore order, as the protesters were out of control.
His comments echoed those of Defence Minister Wei Fenghe earlier in the day. He said the student-led movement was "political turbulence" and it was the correct policy to put an end to it.
Chang, who helps run a group called June 4 Untold Fact, said some pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are deceiving the public about what actually happened.
"They should tell the public that actually the government seriously and repeatedly warned the public that they shouldn't go to the streets. When they were in control, they let the students leave peacefully. After the incident, the military was extremely restrained in letting those 'stop the tank people' leave peacefully. At least tell all these kinds of unknown truths," he said.
Lee Cheuk-yan, the secretary of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, was also a guest at City Forum. He said if the killings were indeed justified, Beijing would allow people to freely discuss the events of 1989.
He also said that three decades on, there's been little progress regarding human rights on the mainland.
"We believe that progress in true human rights, freedom, rule of law...these are very important universal values that we very much cherish and we believe that there should be progress in these areas," Lee said.
"Why can't China develop economically, with democracy."
Lee said the public should turn out in force at Tuesday night's vigil at Victoria Park to remember the hundreds or even thousands killed in the massacre 30 years ago, and to call for the vindication of the pro-democracy movement the victims were leading.
'Pan-dems lying to Hongkongers about June 4'
2019-06-02 HKT 17:24
PLA tanks and soldiers guarding Chang'an Avenue leading to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, two days after their crackdown on pro-democracy students. File photo: AFP
Chang Ka Mun says pro-democracy protesters fired machine guns at soldiers on June 4, 1989. Photo: RTHK
Lee Cheuk-yan says if the killings were justified, Beijing wouldn't suppress all discussion of what happened. Photo: RTHK
Iris Yeung reports
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