Friday, January 7, 2011
More Details on "Operation Yellow Bird"
A day after the Ming Daily published Szeto Wah's interview on "Operation Yellow Bird" after his death, the magazine Asia Weekly followed suite and published its own story on the same subject. The new story was based on Chen Dazheng (陈达鉦), the self-claimed Commander-in-Chief on the front line of the operation.
Chen Dazheng is a Hong Kong businessman and has been active in the trade business between Hong Kong and mainland China, sometimes involved in its underground activities. He was commonly referred to as "Brother Six" for he being the sixth child in his family. In the past two or three years, Chen Dazheng has already revealed part of the story behind the operation, but none of which had the same level of detail.
In the Asia Weekly story, Chen Dazheng expressed his admiration of Szeto Wah, referring him as one of the two leaders/bosses for him in the entire operation. He said that he is motivated to tell the story now so that people could know what kind of person Szeto Wah was.
Chen Dazheng said that most of the names and information he had for the daring rescue mission came from Uncle Wah. He usually receives half of a photo or currency note, with the other half kept by the person he needed to help. A successful contact was made when the photo or note could be matched up. In most cases, he did not know the identity of the person he was rescuing until after they reached the safety of Hong Kong. While Chen Dazheng was operating on the "front line", Uncle Wah stayed behind monitoring each rescue mission closely, providing all necessary fund and the logistic work of taking care of the people after they came ashore at Hong Kong.
The name "Yellow Bird" was derived from an ancient poem describing how a yellow bird was trapped in a net but was freed by a boy with a sword. Chen Dazheng also described in detail of one particular risky mission, in which they failed to get two student leaders out of China for a couple of weeks. They had to dump them in the open ocean once to evade the Chinese coast guard surrounding them. But they were able to rescue them again and eventually got them to Hong Kong by a speedy boat.
Chen Dazheng is already 67 years old. He promised to tell more of the stories of "Operation Yellow Bird" before he dies.