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Hong Kong rally called boon for democracy

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Pro-democracy campaigners said on Monday they were encouraged by the turnout for the first rally to commemorate Beijing's Tiananmen Square massacre since Hong Kong became a part of China last year.

"I think people have spoken very loudly and clearly that they have not forgotten the massacre in Beijing in 1989," said pro-democracy advocate Emily Lau.Hong Kong's pro-democracy campaigners have been calling for greater democracy in this former British colony and fundamental democratic changes in mainland China. They vowed to press on with their fight.

More than 2,500 people took part in a rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, despite heavy rains, to commemorate the bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy demonstrations centered in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Hong Kong reverted to Beijing last July, ending 156 years of colonial rule. China pledged to let the territory of 6.6 million people keep its capitalist ways for 50 years.

"We hope the Chinese government and the Hong Kong government will recognize Hong Kong people's right to peaceful assembly, to express our views," Lau said. "These activities must be allowed to continue in the future."