Beijing must listen, rights activists say
Catholics say Chinese authorities' reaction betrays their nervousness
ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
February 22, 2011
The Chinese government took strict precautions against pro-democracy rallies after an anonymous appeal for a day of demonstrations in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities circulated on the internet last weekend.
Police dispersed crowds at busy shopping areas and public squares, and detained some protestors.
Dozens of rights activists and lawyers were put under house arrest or forcibly taken from their homes by police across the country, according to various rights organizations outside China.
Jackie Hung Ling-yu, officer of the Hong Kong diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) sees the “Jasmine Revolution of China,” inspired by the Tunisian protest movement, as a spontaneous response of mainland people to the international issue.
The mainland protestors have no intention to overthrow the regime but wants to express their demand and hope to see changes in the country, she said.
Even though news about revolts across the Middle East was blacked out, people can still obtain information from various channels. “The government should allow free access to information and freedom of expression rather than using high pressure tactics to deal with problems,” said Hung.
The stronger the suppression, the more counteraction from the people, she warned.
Another Catholic human rights activist, Patrick Poon Kar-wai, said the rally call was “spontaneous without organization” and thus “immature.”
The so-called “revolution” was very mild in nature; many apparent onlookers claiming they were just "out for a walk" were taking part in their own veiled and loose form of protest, he said.
Poon praised the bravery of those who did take a stand for their rights and said the government's response betrayed its nervousness.
The mainlanders may want to yield something through modeling on the Middle-East episodes but it is not easy as the situation in China is different, he noted.
A mainland priest who asked not to be named said it is painful for him to see prevailing social tensions that often arouse from the indifference and even abuse of power of government officials.
On the internet, people are always waiting to see when the next abuse case will happen as a chance for them to express their discontent, he observed.
Sexual orientation is totally different from biological orientation, says priest
Such 'quick solutions' to curb militancy, a blatant disrespect of law, says Supreme Court lawyer Father Albert T. Rozario
Being indifferent to the poor and suffering 'turns Christians into hypocrites'
Principal of Mount Carmel School in Pune 'extremely worried' about the safety of girl students and staff
They will together cooperate for the evangelization of China and beyond