The IHT runs this story today:
The call came from the "Tiananmen Mothers" in a petition issued on Friday that carried 127 names of people who claimed their children or family members were victims of the June 4 quelling of the pro-democracy protests that challenged Communist Party power in 1989.
The group urged the government to investigate the military crackdown, name all the dead, compensate their families and punish "those responsible for the killings."...
The link for the petition at Human Rights in China is here.
From a Confucian point of view, the Humanity of this request is crystal clear: parents want a full accounting of the deaths of their children. They need to enact their duty to their children according to ritual (which here means a conscientious remembrance of the dead). What strikes me most is the simply request to "name all the dead." It seems so straightforward. Why wouldn't the government be quick to comply with what is basically a humanitarian issue?
We all know the answer to that question. The CCP feels politically threatened by the Humanity of the Tiananmen Mothers. They fear what a full accounting of the "unconscionable atrocity" might bring. They can't even name all the dead.
In making that simple request the Tiananmen Mothers are putting the lie to the CCP's ersatz Confucian-Mencian "serve the people" rhetoric. Wen Jaibao likes to present himself as an affable grandfather who looks after all of those around him. He indirectly invokes the social ethic of Mencius. But if he really was "noble-minded" in the Mencian sense, he would help the Mothers and name the dead.