The monument on campus was created by a Danish artist to commemorate those killed by PLA soldiers in the capital in 1989.
HKU’s student union president Kwok Wing-ho said that they had not received any pressure from the university’s management over the cleaning ritual, describing the tradition as reasonable and legal.
In April, the university severed ties with the union, accusing it of using the campus as a platform for political propaganda.
Kwok said the purpose of the cleaning was to safeguard the truth and to mourn the victims, and he hoped that students were aware how those who had come before them fought for freedom of expression on campus.
As for the annual repainting of a pro-democracy message on Swire Bridge at the campus, he said this had been delayed for a week because of the weather.
Commenting on the police’s ban on the Victoria Park candlelight vigil, Kwok said although the unions had stopped taking part in the rally, everyone should have freedom of speech and the right to join an assembly.