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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tiananmen dissident calls for 'white China' day

May 24, 2009

AFP
May 22, 2009

BEIJING -- Wang Dan, a key figure in the 1989
pro-democracy protests in China, said Thursday he
hoped the nation would be "covered in white" to
mark the anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen crackdown.

"We are promoting a campaign called 'White
Clothes Day,'" Wang, who was jailed for years in
China before being exiled, told AFP from Taiwan,
where he was staying temporarily to continue his fight for democracy.

"That means we appeal to Chinese people to wear
white clothes (the colour of mourning in China)
on June 4 to remember June 4, and we hope that on
that day, we can witness a China covered in white," he explained.

Studying at Peking University in 1989, Wang was
first on a list of 21 most wanted students in
China after the army cracked down on the
Tiananmen demonstrations, killing hundreds, and possibly thousands.

After being arrested, Wang was sentenced to four
years in prison in 1991 and freed in 1993. He was
re-arrested in 1995 after continuing to campaign
for human rights and democracy and sentenced the
following year to a further 11 years in jail.

But in 1998, he was exiled to the United States
where he continued his fight for democracy in his country.

"We are also inviting over 50 former participants
of the 89 movement to get together again after 20
years in Washington DC to have a candle
ceremony," Wang said, adding exiled dissidents
would hold a press conference on June 4.

Chinese authorities have reinforced security and
the surveillance of dissidents in the country as
the ultra-sensitive anniversary approaches, fearing trouble.

On the night of June 3-4, 1989, after six weeks
of peaceful pro-democracy protests in Beijing and
100 other cities in China, the army intervened to
evacuate Tiananmen Square where students were on hunger strike.

The Chinese regime justified its actions by
saying they had been necessary to quash a "counter-revolutionary" rebellion.

The government has so far provided no official
toll for the repression, which was condemned
throughout the world and led to the temporary
isolation of China on the international stage.

But human rights organisations say hundreds, if not thousands, died.
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