quinta-feira, 30 de abril de 2009

Democratas de Hong Kong entram na China

6 democrats allowed on Guangdong delegation

Eva Wu and Gary Cheung
South China Morning Post
April 30, 2009

In yet another breakthrough, six pan-democrat lawmakers will be allowed to join a Legislative Council delegation to visit Guangdong next month - only the second time democrats without a home-return permit have been allowed on an official trip.

The 36-member delegation, led by Legco president Tsang Yok-sing, will be the first in the current legislative term to visit the mainland. They will tour four cities in the province for three days, from May 15 to 18.

The visit has fuelled speculation that Beijing is keen to ease political tension in Hong Kong ahead of the 20th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown. While the delegation's visit aims to enable lawmakers to better understand the mainland's economic development and efforts in environment protection, pan-democrats said yesterday they would use the opportunity to call for the vindication of the democracy movement.

Albert Chan Wai-yip, the only lawmaker from the radical League of Social Democrats who will join the trip and who already has a home-return permit, said he would raise the request with mainland authorities, and would discuss with his league colleagues how to express that request.

Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said he believed the trip showed that the central government wished to create a harmonious atmosphere ahead of the sensitive anniversary.

Fellow Democrat Lee Wing-tat said he would also raise other issues, including Hong Kong's political development and granting pan-democrat legislators home-return permits.

The six pan-democrats in the delegation who do not have home- return permits will be granted one-off permits. Five are from the Democratic Party, namely Mr Ho, deputy chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing, James To Kun-sun, Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and Mr Lee.

Cyd Ho Sau-lan of Civic Act-up, whose last visit to the mainland was in 1997, will also be granted a one-off permit.

Mr Tsang told reporters yesterday he would not interfere in the comments given by lawmakers.

"Legislators will manage what to say. I believe that they know the target of the trip and what should be discussed. I will not interfere in the opinions they raise," he said.

He also dismissed the suggestion that the trip had any link to the anniversary of the June 4 crackdown. "I don't see any relationship or at least no intention to relate the visit to the date," he said.

The delegation will visit Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nansha and Zhuhai , including a logistics centre, port and airport facilities, power generation facilities and a wetland park. The delegation will also meet Guangdong government officials.

Last July, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen led a delegation comprising lawmakers from across the political spectrum to see for themselves the earthquake damage in Sichuan , the first time pan-democrat lawmakers had been allowed on an official trip.

Earlier this year, the Legco panel on economic development and the panel on environmental affairs submitted requests to visit the mainland.

Mr Tsang received an invitation from the Guangdong government on Tuesday.

He said yesterday he hoped a Legco delegation could again visit Sichuan to observe the progress of redevelopment projects funded by the city's taxpayers.

Sem comentários: