Speech delivered on 2 June 2009

on the occasion of the donation of

the sculpture Fragments of a Democracy Story


To the students of Hong Kong


I'm very sad that I cannot stand here with you today, but as you know, the Hong Kong authorities have denied me entry into the country.


With this expulsion, Hong Kong has taken yet another step in the direction of a society without respect for freedom of speech and the individual rights.


Many of us had hoped it would have turned out differently:


-       That Hong Kong had taken the stand of being one of the frontrunners of democracy

-       That Hong Kong had entered a role of a democratic light and example in this part of the world.


Many of us elderly have in some ways fought in vain. We have fought, but things have not turned out as planned. I had hoped for the young generation today, to be able:


-       to study in a world with respect for the individual’s right.

-       to live in a world of social balance and a world respecting the freedom of speech

-       and not at least, to live in a world, in which the Chinese people have the possibility to freely rehabilitate and honour the people who have sacrificed their life for a better and more just China.


I hereby donate this sculpture to you students. It is called Fragments of a Democracy Story and is a fragment of the big Pillar of Shame sculpture which is set up at Hong Kong U as a memorial of the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4th, 1989.


-       The sculpture is fragmented, and only part of a whole to symbolize that the students of Tiananmen have not yet been rehabilitated.

-       The orange paint symbolizes the hope of a better and more beautiful future for China – but also that many people have been discriminated, violated or even paid the ultimate price for making China a better place to live.


You are the new generation. It is you who have to carry on the torch of freedom which has been passed on by the students of Tiananmen in '89.


-       I hope you will hold this torch up high, so its light will shine for others to follow – in Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world.


At the same time, I hope that you will always carry the memory of the students from Tiananmen in your hearts.


Thank you for your contribution to a better world,



Jens Galschiot