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Hong Kong Fishermen Protest Disney

June 11, 2000

HONG KONG (AP) _ Hong Kong fishermen on more than 100 boats staged a demonstration Sunday off an outlying island to protest government plans to reclaim parts of the sea to build a Disney theme park.

In May, the Hong Kong government signed an agreement with a local company to reclaim 404 acres at Penny Bay on Lantau island as part of the Disney park, which is set to open in 2005.

The fishermen sailed their boats, decorated with banners, to waters near Penny Bay to demand more compensation from the government for the loss of rich fishing grounds.

``The government decided to reclaim Penny Bay, but it did not consult the fishermen beforehand,″ Albert Chan, spokesman for the fishermen, told Radio Hong Kong.

The fishermen said government compensation was far less than they were demanding.

``We are reviewing our compensation package and hope it can be settled soon, as we have to go ahead with the reclamation for the Disney park,″ said government spokesman Nelson Ng.

The government and The Walt Disney Co., based in Burbank, Calif., announced in November a $3.55 billion deal _ financed mostly by Hong Kong taxpayers _ to build Disneyland in Hong Kong.

Government officials see the building of Disneyland in Hong Kong as a big attraction that will boost tourism and maintain the territory’s status as a top Asian city.

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