(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Former Chinese Premier Li Peng, who ordered martial law during the 1989 Tiananmen protests, has died at the age of 90, state media have announced.
Li died on Monday evening in Beijing of an unspecified illness.
He served in several top positions in China in the 1980s and 1990s.
But he was best known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989. Soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed civilians.
Li later defended his actions as a “necessary” step.
In its obituary, the official Xinhua news agency says Li “took decisive measures to stop the unrest and quell counter-revolutionary violence” during the Tiananmen protests.
China has consistently censored the massacre for the last three decades, and avoids making reference to any atrocities that occurred during it.