Tibetans in Dharamsala commemorate 34th Tiananmen Square anniversary 

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, June 5: Tibetans in the exile headquarter here commemorated the 34th anniversary of 1989’s ‘Tiananmen Square massacre’ yesterday with a solidarity protest.

“We pay tribute to the enduring courage of those who continue to resist China’s draconian rule and we urge the international community to show not only that it will never forget the atrocities of the past, but that it will stand up against the flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights,” Students for a Free Tibet-India(SFT), the organiser of the commemorative event said.

The massive protest led by students on 5 June 1989 which saw the popular support of Chinese citizens from all walks of life, calling for accountability and democracy in China was brutally cracked down. The government’s use of heavy force and assault weapons to crack down on the peaceful protesters took the lives of hundreds of people. 

The history of ‘June Fourth’ is heavily censored and altered in China. Generations of mainland Chinese have grown up without knowledge of this historical event. 

Hong Kong, where the annual commemoration of the ‘Tiananmen Square massacre’ used to be attended by thousands of people has since been silenced after the imposition of a strict national security law by the Chinese government in 2020. 

The massive democracy protest in Hong Kong that came to be known as the ‘umbrella revolution’ which emerged in 2014 unnerved the Chinese government causing them to hasten their impending full control of the region. 

Hong Kong’s security secretary Chris Tang – a former police chief- warned of “decisive action” to those who might carry out acts of commemoration or call for Hong Kong independence saying “You will not be lucky” CNN reported on Sunday.

According to the report, despite the ban and warning, some artists and activists turned up at the park and nearby streets to make private commemoration only to be intercepted and taken away by police.

A large number of Hongkongers, who have since immigrated to London and elsewhere following the massive crackdown under national security law, are playing an important role in keeping Tiananmen remembrance alive overseas. 

“It is true that the commemorations around June 4th have expanded and become more global since it has become impossible to do anything in Hong Kong,” CNN reported. 

A number of marches and vigils also took place across Britain on 4 June. More than 100,000 Hongkongers have settled in Britain.

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