29 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 06/03/2004
A mother's hope endures 15 years of disappointment

Beijing (AsiaNews/SCMP) - Tiananmen mother Ding Zilin refuses to give up hope that the June 4 movement will be rehabilitated, even though it may not happen in her lifetime.

After her son was killed 15 years ago during the military crackdown, Ms Ding - with relatives of other victims - formed the Tiananmen Mothers advocacy group. Its prime purpose is to call on the authorities to re-examine the official condemnation of the democracy movement.

The mothers insist that even if the students may have been wrong in some of their methods, it was still a crime for the government to kill its own people.

Ms Ding's group has so far documented the names of 182 people who were killed, providing firm evidence to disprove claims by some officials that the massacre did not happen.

Ms Ding is now 67 and she has watched as time has taken its toll on her group.

"Among the victims' families who signed petition letters [demanding rehabilitation] every year since 1995, 11 have passed away," she said.

"My husband and I are not the oldest among the victims' families, but I am mentally prepared that I may not live to see that day" that June 4 is revisited, she said.

That reality was brought home about a week ago when an official from the Ministry of State Security visited.

"He told me that it is impossible for the present leadership to resolve the problem of June 4. He said he did not come to discuss the issue but to pass on the message."

"Moreover, he told me that they were going to impose residential control over me," she said referring to a form of house arrest used by police to isolate people seen as troublemakers.

Ms Ding said there had been hope the change of leadership that brought President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to power would create a political climate where the Communist Party could right the wrong done 15 years ago, but the message she received meant such expectations were misplaced.

"There are signs of backtracking. I have to say I feel sorry about the new leadership under Hu-Wen," she said.

In March, Mr Wen defended the crackdown but did not call the student-led movement a "rebellion", as previous leaders have done, raising hopes that the leadership might take a more conciliatory position.

The "residential control" measure was a slight surprise because Ms Ding was told three years ago by officials from the same department that they no longer wanted to restrict her movement.

Last year, Ms Ding spent the period around the anniversary in her home town of Wuxi and therefore was not harassed by police.

Despite the setbacks, Ms Ding remains optimistic.

"I am not pessimistic. I am still hopeful. One day the truth will become clear," she said.

"What is important is the process, and we have tried our best. Since we have already started, we cannot give up. We must press on because we have done no wrong."

Ms Ding is convinced the Tiananmen Mothers took the correct path by advocating dialogue with the authorities to resolve the deadlock over June 4.

"We insist that the National People's Congress should set up a special committee to investigate and make public the truth of June 4 and compensate victims as the laws require," she said.

"And we want peaceful and rational dialogue [with the government] on equal basis, and I don't think we are asking for too much."

Ms Ding said she could understand why many intellectuals and even activists who took part in the movement 15 years ago had now chosen to remain silent. And she was not surprised by the ignorance among young people regarding what happened 15 years ago.

"Everybody has his own choice. If there is no suppression and  cover-up of the truth, people will act differently," she said.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/29/2014 CHINA
Tiananmen psychosis: at least 50 people missing, detained, interrogated
by Wang Zhicheng
The Heritage of Tiananmen
by Bernardo Cervellera
06/03/2004 CHINA - DOSSIER tiananmen
Tiananmen: Beijing defends the massacre
05/28/2014 CHINA
Wei Jingsheng: The heroes of Tiananmen have awakened China
by Wei Jingsheng
04/27/2010 CHINA
With a growing economy, China becomes increasingly repressive
A witness to the 1989 massacre speaks
CHINA –Dossier Tiananmen
Doctor who urged rethink of "biggest mistake" disappears
CHINA - DOSSIER tiananmen
Tiananmen: Beijing defends the massacre
The Heritage of Tiananmen
Bishop Zen: peacefully demonstrating for democracy without hatred in our hearts
Release of activist and preacher precede fifteenth anniversary of Tiananmen Square
Over 5 thousand demonstrators commemorate democracy and June 4th
Heavy control over students and dissidents ahead of June 4
Beijing launches human rights investigations following Amnesty International accusations
Emergency security measures for Tiananmen Square to prevent protests
China - United States
Beijing suspends human rights talks with United States
hong kong
Since Tiananmen massacre nothing has changed in China
china european union
European Parliament opposes lifting arms embargo against China

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.