By KEVIN DREW
Associated Press January 26, 2011
The two, Wang Dan (王丹) and Wu’er Kaixi (吾爾開希), who both played major roles in the student-led democracy movement in Beijing in 1989, said the Hong Kong government had rejected their visa applications to attend the funeral of a veteran pro-democracy activist Szeto Wah (司徒華) this week.
“I am extremely disappointed and saddened,” Mr. Wu’er said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Taiwan. He said that he and Mr. Wang planned to hold a news conference on Thursday in Taiwan to speak about the Hong Kong government’s decision.
Mr. Szeto, who died on Jan. 2 of lung cancer at the age of 79, was chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements, an organization established in 1989 that seeks greater political freedom in China.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權), Hong Kong’s puppet head whom the Beijing regime appointed, had no comment on the visa rejections, said a spokesman, Donald Lam said, who added that he planned “in principle” to attend the funeral.
Lee Cheuk-yan, a Hong Kong legislator and acting chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance that Mr. Szeto led, said Wednesday that he was “very disappointed” by the decision to deny visas to Mr. Wang and Mr. Wu’er.
“In Hong Kong, we no longer enjoy the idea of ‘one country, two systems,’ ” he said.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was annexed by China in 1997, under an agreement that provided the territory a separate legal system and greater freedoms than Chinese “enjoy” in China.
Mr. Wang was imprisoned after the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in June 1989 and was later exiled to the United States. Both he and Mr. Wu’er have been repeatedly denied entry to Hong Kong in recent years.
A spokesman for the United States Consulate in Hong Kong said the consul general, Stephen M. Young, planned to attend Mr. Szeto’s funeral to “show his respects to a great champion of democracy in Hong Kong.”