Donations of $25 or more will receive a
"No Enemies No Hatred" Book

No Enemies No Hatred Book.


Or a commemorative T-shirt depicting the images below.

Please email us with your choice & shipping info.

Home arrow News arrow Universal Suffrage for Hong Kong
Universal Suffrage for Hong Kong Print
Saturday, 27 September 2014
Please tell a Friend,
Dear Friend,
             Please join Hong Kong Forum's action in support of Hong Kong universities students demand for universal suffrage.
             Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
             Two locations:
                 Location 1
                      11:30 - 12:30 pm, Diamond Plaza, 1330 S. Fullerton Rd, Rowland Heights
                      12:40 - 1:40 pm, Hacienda Center, 1629 S. Azusa Ave, Hacienda Heights
                Location 2
                       11: 30 - 12:30 pm, Monterey Park Mall, 404 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park
                       12:40 - 1:40 pm, Atlantic Time Square, 500 N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park

              This week, students from 26 higher education institutions in Hong Kong are taking part in a boycott of classes and protests to demand universal suffrage for the election of chief executive by 2017 as had been promised in 2012.
              To understand Hong Kong, we need to review the history of Hong Kong.
              In 1984, Margaret Thatcher, then Britain's prime minister, signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in returning the colony of Hong Kong to China by 1997.  It was done without consulting the residents of Hong Kong, the majority having been refugees who escaped from China's repressive rule.
              At a press conference in Hong Kong after the signing, Thatcher was asked by then Far East Economic Times journalist Emily Lau, "Prime Minister, two days ago, you signed an agreement with China promising to deliver over 5 million people into the hands of a communist dictatorship.  Is it morally defensible or is it really true that in international politics, the highest form of morality is one's own nationally interest?"
             Thatcher's response was,"I believe most of the people, indeed the overwhelming number of people in Hong Kong think the same (in returning Hong Kong).  You may be the solitary exception."  In George Orwell's "1984", "solitary exception" means insanity.
             Yet, Emily Lau was not the solitary exception.
             In the ten years prior to 1997, over 300,000 people left Hong Kong resulting in a massive brain drain.
             In 1990, after the Tiananmen Masscre of 1989, Britain offered British citizenship to 50,000 applicants and their families; it was snapped up in no time.
             Since 1997, the people of Hong Kong have been struggling to maintain the promise made of "one country, two systems."
             The Beijing government and the Chinese Communist Party have also been doing their utmost in limiting Hong Kong's civil liberties through various means including threats and violence through criminal elements against many vocal activists especially the media.
             Many Hong Kong newspapers have been bought by pro-Beijing owners including the English language newspaper South China Morning Post.  Beijing even established the Hong Kong based Phoenix Television with the purpose of sending propaganda to China and to overseas Chinese.
             Since 1989, Hong Kong have seen mass protests yearly in support of democracy in Hong Kong and in China.
             After the Tiananmen Massacre, over a million people, one in six people in Hong Kong joined the protest against Beijing.  This year at the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, 160,000 people in Hong Kong participated in the candlelight vigil.  On July 1 this year, on the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, over a half million people in Hong Kong demonstrated for democracy.
             In 2003, when the Hong Kong government tried to implement Article 23, an anti-subversion law that would place Hong Kong in a state-police environment as China, mass protests led by lawyers, religious leaders and others caused the government to table the proposal.
             In 2012, when Hong Kong Education department attempted to impose "patriotism" curriculum in schools, protests erupted.  A 15 year old high school student became in effect the spokesperson against brainwashing.  
             Hong Kong's highest office is the Chief Executive who is currently being elected by a select group of 1200 people with approval by Beijing. Article 45 of Hong Kong's mini constitution, the Basic Law, stipulates that Hong Kong's chief executive would eventually be elected through universal suffrage.
             Hong Kong's legislative body consists of 70 members of which 40 are directly elected through geographic regions.  The rest of 30 members are indirectly elected through economic and social groups such as teachers, bankers, manufacturers, social welfare, etc.  According to Article 68 of the Basic Law, the entire legislative council would eventually also be elected through universal suffrage.  Thus it is possible for individuals with membership in various groups electing more than one of the legislative representatives.
             In 2004, Beijing's National Peoples Congress set the timetable for universal suffrage for Chief Executive in Hong Kong to be effective in 2017.
             On June 10 this year, Beijing reneged on its promise in a white paper stating that "China's central government has comprehensive jurisdiction over all local administrative regions, including the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)."   It in effect specified that any candidates for Chief Executive must be first approved by Beijing.          
             Beijing's white paper was released ten days before Hong Kong's pro-democracy groups planned an unofficial referendum asking the voters their preference for Hong Kong's future.  Beijing's declaration in the white paper was meant as a threat and intimidation to the people of Hong Kong but it had the opposite effect as close to 800,000 people participated in the voting when organizers were expecting only 100,000.
             This weeks protest by university students will be followed in the future by the high school students.
             On October 1, the pro-democracy group will carry out "Occupy Central" movement to occupy the financial district of Hong Kong.
             The young people in Hong Kong has expressed their desire; it is now time for the world to take notice.
Ann Lau
Chair, Visual Artists Guild
September 26, 2014
             For more background information on Hong Kong please visit Visual Artists Guild's 1997 documentary,
                    "Hong Kong in Transition",


Please register to comment

< Prev   Next >
© 2019 Visual Artists Guild