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Anti-Japanese Demonstrations in China; Lesbian groups picket bookstore; RTHK in the news (15 Apr 2005)


The flashpoint for the recent anti-Japanese demonstrations on the mainland was supposedly a specific Japanese history textbook, used only by around 1200 school-children out of over three million. In fact, there are more reasons than that why the mainland government is willing to either tacitly support or even encourage such anti-Japanese feeling. There is genuine outrage there, but there's also manufactured public sentiment being used to achieve political ends. And the danger is that condoning public demonstrations could backfire on the authorities. Last Sunday concern groups, Rainbow of Hong Kong and the Women Coalition of Hong Kong, demonstrated outside a bookstore - run by committed Christians - that they claimed had thrown out 200 copies of a newsletter on lesbian lifestyles. The bookstore also turned down the groups' request to distribute free booklets about lesbianism that had been created with sponsorship from the Home Affairs Bureau's Equal Opportunities Funding Scheme. At issue is whether the bookstore's refusal violates personal liberties or whether, as a commercial organisation, it should be free to sell and distribute what it wants. And, RTHK has been in the news this week, first in the courts, and in the Legislative Council chamber. Some legislators are wondering whether it's being subjected to death by a thousand (budget) cuts.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, April 15, 2005
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