Head-Tax Issue Causes Division

Thank you for Charlie Smith's report ["Head-Tax Payer Rejects MP's Proposal for Apology", November 18-25]. While the reintroduction of Bill C-333 was reported in the Chinese-language media, the story has been ignored by the English-language media in B.C. and perhaps Canada except for the Georgia Straight.

The return of legally but unjustly collected head-tax money would be a refund and not compensation. I am surprised that Don Lee's head-tax--paying father endured 24 years of racist exclusion and second-class citizenship without any suffering and hardship. His family is more fortunate than mine, though both our forebears overcame the racism. If Lee does not want the head-tax refund, he need not accept when offered, or he can accept and contribute it to whomever or whatever he likes. However, he should not frustrate other's democratic participation, particularly for partisan political reasons.

Don Lee and his friends formed the National Congress of Chinese Canadians after a split within the Chinese Canadian National Council in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. The CCNC strongly condemned the human-rights record of the government of the People's Republic of China. Canadian PRC apologists felt for their wallets and the result was the NCCC, sympathetic to a government that sent tanks to murder citizens in peaceful assembly for democracy and freedom.

How much credibility can Don Lee and the Congress, with its coziness to the PRC, have on human rights in Canada? And is the PRC meddling in Canadian affairs via the Congress?

Sid Chow Tan