Friday, June 5, 2009

Tiananmen dissident rebuffed

By Julian Ryall, Beijing

(The Age) -A PRINCIPAL student leader of the 1989 pro-democracy movement has slammed Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's statement on the 20th anniversary of the brutal crackdown after a failed attempt to return to China through Macau.

Twenty years after his defiance made him the second most wanted ringleader of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, Wuer Kaixi says he wants to return to his homeland.

He marked the anniversary of the crackdown in a holding cell in the Chinese territory after immigration officials denied him entry to surrender.

"China will not let me return and my parents are prohibited from travelling abroad," Mr Wuer said in a letter shortly before he left Taiwan, where he lives. "I have not seen them in 20 years."

The Macau authorities refused him entry, citing "the maintenance of social harmony". He refused to board several flights to Taiwan but last night was forced to admit defeat.

Upon his arrival at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport, he criticised Mr Ma for praising China's growing attention to human rights. "Is now the right time to say good words on China's behalf?" he asked.

Mr Ma's official statement offered only weak support for the victims of Tiananmen.

"This painful part of history has to be faced bravely and cannot be avoided," he said.

Mr Wuer remains on the list of 21 student dissidents who Beijing identified as ringleaders of the Tiananmen protests. Now 41 and living in Taipei, he has been told that China will never grant him amnesty.

He last saw his parents shortly before he was smuggled out of Beijing after the students' movement had been crushed by tanks and machine guns on June 3 and 4, but can communicate with them relatively unhindered via the internet.

"Living as an exile is tormenting and impossible for anyone who has not experienced it to understand," he said. "At first, I felt hatred for the regime, but that soon passed as hatred can bring no good. But the anger is there every day."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on China to account for those killed in the Tiananmen Square protests.

"A China that has made enormous progress economically, and that is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership, should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing," she said.


Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too