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Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 20:51 UK

HK students back Tiananmen call

A man tries to stop Chinese tanks in 1989
Suppression of the 1989 Tianamen protests sparked worldwide anger

Students at a Hong Kong university have called for the Chinese government to be held accountable for events in Tiananmen Square 20 years ago.

Only 79 out of almost 2,000 students in the University of Hong Kong students' union voted against the motion.

Correspondents say the result shows the continued strength of feeling about the killings in Tiananmen Square.

Hong Kong is the only place under Chinese sovereignty where the events can be discussed openly.

The university vote has garnered a lot of local media attention, especially during this sensitive period for Beijing in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests.

'Diversity of views'

Students at Hong Kong campuses have been split between those who wish to mark the anniversary and those who wish to tone down criticism of Beijing.

Some say the events of so long ago are no longer relevant, while others argue that until the Tiananmen events are properly examined, nothing can be left to rest.

"We have had lots of discussion at the university and have realised there is a lot of diversity of views," said Vincent Fok, council chairman in the students' union.

He said Hong Kong students were more well-informed about the events than their counterparts from the mainland.

The union leader, Ayo Chan Yi-ngok, is under pressure after saying that some student leaders in the 1989 protest had acted irrationally.

At the City University, a plan to issue a booklet about the Tiananmen Square protests was initially quashed by students who said the 1989 events were of little relevance.

The booklet will now be made, after students from eight universities in Hong Kong criticised what they said were efforts to suppress freedom of speech.



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