Vigil for Tiananmen Dead Draws Fewer in Hong Kong

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A somewhat smaller crowd than in previous years turned out here on Wednesday evening for the annual candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, the participation depressed by a growing reluctance among many Hong Kong residents to confront Beijing officials on human rights issues.

Enthusiasm for the Olympic Games in Beijing, sympathy for victims of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province and growing prosperity because of China’s economic boom have combined to weaken Hong Kong’s once-vigorous protest movement.

Even Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the highest official of the Roman Catholic Church in China and a vociferous critic of Beijing’s rights record, has moderated his tone in recent weeks.

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