Friday, 27 August 2010

Remembering the Dead

Friday nights most foreigners are out in the bars in Central socializing with friends and having a few drinks to relax and ease into the weekend.

Some Hong Kong Chinese have dinner with friends or bust out in song in karaoke bars.

But things were a bit different today.

After work I walked to my gym, which is on the edge of Central bordering Admiralty. As I walked there a young mainland Chinese couple stopped me and asked where the Peak tram was. I gave them the directions in Mandarin which made me think, those three years in Beijing are paying off!

But when I reached the street corner, there were several policemen standing around which was a bit strange. What were they doing there, with their motorcycles parked nearby?

I didn't think too much of it until after my workout and I walked down to the tram stop to go home. At Chater Garden next to the Legislative Council building was a large gathering of people in black T-shirts holding candles and singing songs.

They were remembering those victims from Monday's hostage taking in the Philippines.

The incident has hit many Hong Kong people hard and they are trying to understand the tragedy. Why were Hong Kong people targeted? Why did they have to be killed? Why didn't the police save them?

It will be a while yet before their questions are answered.

In the meantime they want to show their grief tonight. On Sunday afternoon at 3pm in Victoria Park there will be a rally that will include all political parties in a show of solidarity over this issue. They will demand that the Philippine authorities conduct a fair and independent investigation into the incident, and have Hong Kong investigators take part.

While the Philippine government claims an investigation is already underway, none of the surviving victims have been asked to give their accounts, according to Cheung Man-kwong a Democratic Party lawmaker.

The lack of trust in the Philippine authorities does not bode well for the outcome of this incident. Nor does it make accepting the situation any better.

1 comment:

  1. i am quite surprised by the amount of love and grief expressed by the hong kong people over this tragedy. it is a genuine outpouring of emotion without any disguise. hong kong people were traditionally notorious for their indifference in the old days. not now , not today.