Violence to push Hong Kong into deep abyss: HK chief executive
Robie de Guzman • August 13, 2019 • 355
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday condemned the current riots in the region, stressing that violence will plunge Hong Kong into a deep abyss where the city will be “smashed to pieces.”
Speaking at a press conference, she said violent activists have committed large-scale vandalism over the past week, like blocking railways and airport, leaving many people affected.
A total of 238 flights in and out of the Hong Kong International Airport were canceled on Monday.
“The MTR handles at least 2 million passenger trips a day. Many passengers were affected that day. The Hong Kong International Airport grounded yesterday. Every day, we see a large number of travelers arrive in and depart from Hong Kong. Many tourists and businessmen also come to Hong Kong via this terminal. However, it was closed yesterday,” she said.
“Other violent acts, like blocking cross-harbor tunnels, assaulting police stations in various districts, attacking police with more dangerous weapons, hurling petrol bombs and injuring a police officer, and using smoke bombs, large slingshots and marbles, have pushed today’s Hong Kong into chaos. Many residents are concerned about whether they can go to work, go to school as usual. Some people have to give up shopping or meeting friends especially at weekends,” she added.
The chief executive said violence is damaging Hong Kong’s rule of law. She said assaulting police and their offices was unacceptable as the city’s 30,000-strong force is responsible for upholding the rule of law.
“The third thing I’ve seen is the large-scale attack against our judicial organizations in order to destroy the rule of law, leaving enforcement police to bear the brunt. I saw and heard a lot of online comments that play up revenge and attacks on police and also slander law enforcement police with photos and short videos of unconfirmed incidents in an attempt to set residents against police. They do nothing good to Hong Kong. This 30,000-member police force is an important pillar of the rule of law in Hong Kong. To my outrage, they even attack the families of police,” Lam said.
Lam said the priority for Hong Kong right now is to stop violence, and restore the rule of law and order. Once that has been achieved, she said, sincere dialogue and the rebuilding of harmony in society can begin.
She also said Hong Kong had already been badly torn apart and the city will need a very long time to recover.
“What had happened over the past week made me worried that Hong Kong, which is believed to be a secure society which respects the rule of law, will reach a dangerous situation. All kinds of ailments and pathogenic factors will occur although Hong Kong is an open, free, inclusive and economically stable city. It will take a long time to recover as I said last Sunday. Seven million people will not be able to live steadily or work happily. So here I plea everyone again to put aside differences, calm down, take one minute to think, look at our city, our home, and ask whether you really want to see it pushed into an abyss where it will be smashed to pieces. At present, what should be done is to fight against violence, safeguard the rule of law and restore order. Once that has been achieved, sincere talks, repairing and rebuilding of harmonious society can begin,” said she, appearing on the verge of tears.
Radical protests against a controversial fugitive transfer bill in Hong Kong have continued for more than two months. Though the bill has long been pronounced dead, violent demonstrations persist. (REUTERS)
Hong Kong police fired live rounds Monday morning, hitting at least one protester, amid a citywide strike and widespread chaos.
Shortly before 8 am local time (00:00 GMT), witness videos emerged of a police officer firing his gun amid a scuffle on a busy street in the middle-class residential area of Sai Wan Ho, where a group of protesters was blocking traffic.
In a video captured by Cupid News, the officer was first seen running across a road, apparently giving chase, before he stopped and started to walk back. In a sudden move, he turned around, took out his gun and grabbed a young man in white hoodie wearing a mask.
The young man struggled and the officer then appeared to fire a shot at close range into the stomach of an approaching black-clad masked man who dropped to the ground. In footage less clear, bystanders confronted the officer who then fired two more shots, with another person dropping to the ground.
The Hospital Authority confirmed to EFE on Monday afternoon that a 21-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound was in critical condition. Local media reported the authority as saying another man was seriously injured.
“During Police operations, one Police officer has discharged his service revolver, one male was shot,” police confirmed in a statement.
It added that officers had drawn their weapons in two other locations, but denied “false and malicious” reports that “police management has ordered frontline officers to recklessly use their firearms.”
The proposed citywide strike on Monday was called for by angry anti-government netizens after the death on Friday of 22-year-old university student Alex Chow Tsz-lok. He fell from a height in a car park on Nov. 3 and suffered serious brain injuries under circumstances that are still unclear.
Chaos continued to escalate in the former British colony as the strike brought traffic chaos to various parts of the city during rush hour.
Police were out in force early, with riot officers deployed to various districts. Following the shooting incident, an angry crowd gathered in Sai Wan Ho and shouted “murderers” at the police who cordoned off and guarded roads in the area.
The police statement said that protesters had set up barricades across multiple locations, dropped “large and heavy objects from heights to carriageways” and “threw a petrol bomb into the MTR compartment and vandalized university facilities.”
At around 8.30 am, riot police reportedly entered the campus of Polytechnic University and fired teargas at protesters.
Teargas was also reportedly fired near the campus of the University of Hong Kong on Hong Kong Island and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the New Territories.
Classes were suspended in at least two universities, namely Shue Yan University and Polytechnic University.
At some metro stations, activists jammed trains and prevented train doors from closing. Many roads were blocked by makeshift barricades erected by black-clad men who came and went quickly. Various metro stations were closed while train services were delayed. – EFE-EPA (Shirley Lau)
China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday (October 23) that the Financial Times report on plans for replacing Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam was a political rumor with ulterior motives.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing saying, “This is a political rumor that has ulterior motives.”
“The central government will staunchly support chief executive Carrie Lam and the government of the special administrative region’s governing in accordance with the law and bringing about an end to the violence and chaos as soon as possible and return to order,” the official added.
The FT reported that China was drawing up a plan to replace Hong Kong leader Lam with an “interim” chief executive, citing people briefed on the deliberations.
Hong Kong’s legislature on Wednesday (October 23) formally withdrew planned legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but the move was unlikely to end months of unrest as it met just one of five demands of pro-democracy protesters. (Reuters)
Former UNTV Cup Season 5 champion PNP Responders must win against the multi-season finalist Malacañang-PSC Kamao on Sunday (October 20) at Pasig City Sports Center to keep their bid for the next round in the league of public servants.
As a winless team in Group B, the Responders share the bottom two spot with the GSIS Furies.
After the first-round elimination, only the top four from each group will advance to the next round. The lowest two teams in each bracket will go on vacation early.
Tough as it may seem, they cannot afford to lose their three remaining games. But what they will be facing are the unbeaten Malacañang-PSC which flashes solid offense and defense prowess in all of its 3 games, the GSIS Furies and the reinforced two-time champion Judiciary Magis.
The Responders will basically still rely on Ollan Omiping, Anton Tolentino with the support from Richard Villanueva and rookie Mariano Flormata Jr.
While the Raffy Gonzales-coached Malacañang-PSC Kamao will be led by Eric dela Cuesta, the Javier brothers, Visnu and Narayan, Myk Jimenez, Ian Garrido with solid supporting cast: Joseph Besa, Michael Ignario and rookies Joseph Roque, Jeff Punzalan.
The PNP- Malacañang-PSC bout will take place at 5:00 pm, Sunday.
An explosive 2nd game is also expected as the multi-season champion AFP Cavaliers will take on the revitalized Department of Agriculture Food Masters.
At the helm of the Food Masters team is PBA Legend Rodney Santos who takes pride of hard-fought victories in their first two encounters against PITC Global Traders and Ombudsman Graft Busters.
In the other games, rookie team SSS Kabalikat will take on sophomore UNTV Cup team PITC Global Traders at 2pm.
SSS Kabalikat, being win-less also, need to win all their remaining games to prevent early eviction.
UNTV Cup can be seen live at Pasig City Sports Center for free or via Facebook and YouTube accounts and of course via UNTV channel and UNTV website.
GROUP A AFP Cavaliers 3-0 Agriculture Food Masters 2-0 Ombudsman Graftbusters 1-2 PITC Global Traders 1-2 PhilHealth Plus 1-2 SSS Kabalikat 0-2
GROUP B Malacañan PSC Kamao 3-0 DENR Warriors 2-0 NHA Builders 2-1 Judiciary Magis 1-2 GSIS Furies 0-3 PNP Responders 0-2
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