Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The peaceful
protest of the Territory's high school students against "national
education" classes imposed by the communist government on local schools
shows no sign of weakening. From the original 80 until yesterday, the number of
young people camped in front of the building of the Legislative Council, in the
government district of Almanthy is now more than 200. Three of them - the 18 year
old Lily Wong Lee-lee, Ivan Lam Long-yin and Kaiser (pictured) - are still on
hunger strike, which began more than 24 hours ago. They are pale, but
determined to resist until tomorrow, when there will be a great event organized
by teachers' unions and parents representatives
The protests in recent days stem from educational reform desired by the Chinese central government in 2002 and launched in 2004. It provides every school - from elementary school onwards - be prepared for non-defined "classes of National Education", a topic that should be treated as a separate subject. From what has so far been said, the subject's aim is to enhance China's great economic scientific and popular achievements, but silence, for example, discusses the Tiananmen massacre..
The first to oppose this reform were Catholics, led by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who has repeatedly denounced this move as an attempt to "brainwash" young people orchestrated by Beijing. Now, the general public is mobilising behind the Church: According to a survey carried out by an Association of men's and women's clubs, 74% of the students and 77% of parents surveyed want the government to withdraw the subject from schools and resume consultations with all parties involved before resubmitting it.