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Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive Carrie Lam spun this weekend’s titanic peaceful protest as a victory for her administration on Monday, claiming the lack of violence was a sign the city is “returning to peace” and vaguely offering a “platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life” to find “a way out” of the crisis.
“I sincerely hope that this was the beginning of society returning to peace and staying away from violence,” said Lam.
Work - Platform - Dialogue - Dialogue - Understanding
“We will immediately start the work to establish a platform for dialogue. This dialogue, I hope, will be based on a mutual understanding and respect and find a way out for today’s Hong Kong,” she continued.
Lam repeated her assertion that the extradition bill which kicked off the protests is “dead” and “there is no plan to revive it.” The protesters are unsatisfied with this promise and want the bill to be formally and irrevocably withdrawn.
Protest - Movement - Leniency - Demonstrators - Declaration
The protest movement also demands leniency for arrested demonstrators, an official declaration they were not “rioting,” a serious inquiry into the excessive use of police force against them, and sweeping political reforms that would bring true representative democracy to the city. The latter demand is frequently accompanied by calls for Lam to step down so a new chief executive can be elected democratically.
Lam said the investigation of violence currently pursued by police watchdog agencies will have to suffice, leaving some activists to wonder exactly what sort of “dialogue” she is proposing.
Speech - Tuesday - Protesters - Demands - Lam
Her ostensibly conciliatory speech on Tuesday did not actually address any of the protesters’ five key demands. Lam appeared condescending to the protest movement by blaming it for previous violence and congratulating it for managing to remain peaceful over the weekend. She warned that Hong...
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