Filipinos in Hong Kong advised to avoid protest areas from August 14 to 25

Marje Pelayo   •   August 14, 2019   •   603

Protesters try to break into the parliament chamber of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Consulate General’s office in Hong Kong on Wednesday (August 14) advised Filipinos working and living there to avoid protest areas amid the escalating public unrest in the country.

According to its social media post, the Consulate General informed the Filipino community in Hong Kong of the following schedule of protests in the coming days:

August 14 (Wednesday) – Sham Shui Po area

August 15 (Thursday) – Wan Chai Taxation Office

August 17 (Saturday) – Chater Garden, Central to Central Government Offices, Admiralty; Hung Hom Pier to Sung Wong Toi Garden, Kowloon

August 18 (Sunday) – Victoria Park, Causeway Bay to Chater Road, Central

August 19 (Monday) – “Clean up MTR carriages”

August 25 (Sunday) – Kwan Tiang Theatre, Kwai Chung to Tsuen Wan Park

In line with this, the Consulate office also reminds Filipinos to refrain from wearing black and white as these are colors associated with the parties involved in the demonstrations.

Consulate officials also encourage Filipinos to immediately contact the Consulate’s hotline numbers in case of emergency related to the protest actions.

Hong Kong International Airport on Wednesday resumed operations after flight disruptions over the past two days amid protest actions in the Chinese-controlled city.

Check-in counters reopened to queues of hundreds of stranded passengers who waited overnight for their flights.

About 200 flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled since demonstrators stormed the airport on Sunday as part of the months-long demonstrations by pro-democracy activists in an attempt to topple the China-leaning government of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. – MNP

Thousands of Hong Kong students turn out to protest extradition bill

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Hong Kong, China (AUGUST 27, 2019). Various secondary school students seated at protest at Edinburgh Place| Courtesy: Reuters

Thousands of secondary school students gathered at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong on Thursday (August 22) to call for political reforms amid turmoil and chaos in the city.

Many of the students said they joined the rally as the government has not answered any of the protesters’ five demands, while others, who are in their senior years, praised the high-school students for ‘sacrificing’ their summer holiday to come out on Thursday.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with China accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs.

The unrest has been fuelled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula adopted after 1997 but not enjoyed on the Chinese mainland, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest. (Reuters)

(Production: Stefica Nicol Bikes, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

China detains employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang confirming detention of Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng | Courtesy: Reuters

A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.

Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.

Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.

“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.

“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.

Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)

(Production: Martin Pollard)

Hong Kong leader says she hoped peaceful protest as turning point

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (August 20) she hoped the peaceful protest over the weekend was the start of an effort to restore peace in the city and that the government would speak to peaceful protesters as well as tackle complaints against police.

Lam said the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPPC), had set up a task force to investigate complaints about police actions, whilst also reiterating that there is no plan to revive the controversial extradition bill.

“One is an important fact-finding study in addition to a very robust system to investigate and look at the complaints against police over this prolonged period of confrontations and violence. The other is a more rare arrangement, is for the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council), which is statutory and independent, to create a fact finding study into the causes and the facts of these incidents. So, I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations for better understanding of what has taken place in Hong Kong,” she said.

“The second area of work that I have announced, which will give us much better basis to address some anxieties and differences in society, is we will start immediately a platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life. So, this is something that we want to do in a very sincere and humble manner. I and my principal officials are committed to listen to what the people have to tell us and we want to reach out to the community as soon as possible,” she added.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in the Chinese-ruled city amidst torrential rain on Sunday (August 18) in the eleventh week of what have often been violent demonstrations.

Aside from Lam’s resignation, demonstrators have five demands – complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “riots”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform. (Reuters)

(Production: Ronn Bautista, Joyce Zhou, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

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