Tens of thousands rally for free elections in Hong Kong as the city marks the 18th anniversary of its return to China. Pavithra George reports.
The yellow umbrellas have returned to Hong Kong. After last year's often violent pro-democracy protests, thousands are again demanding free elections as the city marks 18 years since its return to Chinese leadership in 1997. (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 26-YEAR-OLD SECURITY GUARD, MOK HO-WA, SAYING: "The government thinks Hong Kong people don't love the country. It thinks apart from loving the country, you also have to love the Communist Party. But loving the country and loving the Party are two separate things." The demonstration comes two weeks after a veto by pro-democracy lawmakers of electoral reform proposals- backed by Beijing- on how Hong Kong could choose its next leader in 2017 - but only from a field of pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates. Activists call the proposals a false democratic model. They blame the failure of the reforms on this man ----the city's unpopular leader Leung Chun-ying. Protest leader Daisy Chan say she wants him to leave. SOUNDBITE) (English) CONVENER OF CIVIL HUMAN RIGHTS FRONT AND ORGANIZER, DAISY CHAN, SAYING: "I understand that CY Leung said that the current government will not restart the political reform. But I think CY Leung as the Chief Executive, he has the greatest responsibility of the voting down of the political reform. And thus we call him to step down immediately."' But it's the same call the protesters made last November during the height of the demonstrations, and CY Leung is still in office. He says he has no plans to leave...but the protesters say, neither do they.