Ya Weilin, member of the association 'Tiananmen Mothers' and father of Ya Aiguo (shot in the head by martial-law troops in June 1989), hung himself on Friday. In 2007, we interviewed him and his wife, Zhang Zhengxia, at their home in Beijing.
This is a transcription of some of his comments:
"Each year before the two sessions, all of us, families of the victims, write to the government, always regarding the same issue. We have written repeatedly in the past eighteen years, they never bothered to reply, not even once, totally ignored us.
Although once a local policeman came to us, because of the letters we sent, they found us through the signatures, but they didn’t ask much. "
"Eighteen years have passed, we (Tiananmen Mothers) are strongly determined to have it answered. Take myself for example, in honoring my son’s death I wrote : “Ink and papers can speak for a century, ten thousand generations of offspring shall it take, must we seek revenge.”(纸笔千年会说话，子孙万代要报仇) We are determined to do so, if not in this generation, then the next, this issue must be resolved. "
"It was an important event for the whole world. Massacres like this rarely happen in other countries. China, under the governance of CCP, surely will solve this problem, otherwise how can it be? "
"The slogans like ‘harmonious society’ etc, are good. But in reality, take June 4th for example, what is ‘harmony’? ‘Harmony’ means that everybody is equal, If a problem like June 4th can not be resolved, how can it be harmonious? People must fight for their right, it can’t be harmonious if there are people fighting, right? You see their uneasiness, Olympics is happening, you think they are comfortable? No, every June 4th makes them very nervous, it’s better now. Before, there were police everywhere, especially in Ba’bao Shan. "
"Frankly, our requests are fair, just three requests, we keep mention only the three, not much to ask for, they just ignored us. If you say they are afraid, they shouldn’t, they are a government, what are they afraid of? They just don’t solve your problem. "
"They don’t allow protest anymore, the government has policies. Hongkong is democratic, there are people on the street June 4th every year. Why don’t we have it here in mainland? Because it’s not allowed, where ever you go, they will designate a route for you, snatch you and beat on you. We have no freedom. "
"What are they gonna say, saying is admitting to their faults, the Communist Party of China never admits their faults. They know they’ve done it wrong, just won’t admit to it. That’s the status quo, and if they keep at it, it won’t be good. Just my opinion, but our group is determined that the party is advocating a democratic, legal and harmonious society, regarding this issue, I think someday, some generation of leaders will solve this issue. "
"At the time, students were patriotic, the government said the students were violent, vandalizing and stealing . Impossible! I’ve been on the street, the students were well-organized, there were designated students who make way for traffic, and some are in charge of food delivery, it didn’t affect the traffic at all, the whole protest was in good order. All that the students asked for were “freedom and penalty for those corrupted”, had the government accepted students’ terms, the corruption problem now would be far less serious. Because they didn’t, look at now, how appalling corruption has become now, whoever that has a little power, from the top to the bottom, who has the guts to be clean. Had they talked to students, it wouldn’t be like this now. "
"Those in my age all know well about the June 4th, most are sympathetic to us, the younger generation does not really care, after eighteen years, because the government intentionally ignored this. For example, professor Ding Zilin, who wrote a book on Tiananmen Square, and was published overseas, could not publish in China, it’s been blocked."