Sunday, September 27, 2020

Carrie Lam says zero tolerance for violence, stresses dialogue

Aug 27. 2019
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor meets the press ahead of an Executive Council meeting in Hong Kong on Aug 27, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor meets the press ahead of an Executive Council meeting in Hong Kong on Aug 27, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
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By China Daily
Asia News Network

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday the escalation of violence in protests that have rocked the Asian financial centre for three months was becoming more serious.

Starting a dialogue does not mean we should condone violence. Just imagine, under the pretext of communication, we will tolerate all forms of violence in Hong Kong, that will be the end of the rule of law in Hong Kong. We want to end violence through law enforcement. But we will not give up building a platform for dialogue.

Lam was speaking to the press ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting and following spiralling violence on Sunday that saw police firing water cannon and volleys of tear gas in clashes with protesters who threw bricks and petrol bombs.

Making it clear that justice will be pursued to the end, Lam said police continued to use mininal force in the face of escalating violence. 

Citing harassment of police families, Lam said: "I just cannot see the connection between protests and the protesters’ demands with harassment of police families. The young kids of police officers have to go back to school very soon. And, I hope each of us, especially the education sector, keeps in mind the possible bullying and harassment of children. And not just children from police families, but all children.”

Ruling out an independent commission to investigate police, Lam stressed her government had zero tolerance for violence and that officials were confident of handling the situation. "...I would not say that my government has lost control. We are acting responsibly to deal with issues that might arise. For example, I mentioned bullying in schools and an economic downturn. And I remain committed to serving the people of Hong Kong with humility," the CE said. 

The CE said senior officials were willing to take part in dialogues initiated by citizens but made it clear that engaging in dialogue didn't signify tolerance for violence but a quest for reconciliation. "Starting a dialogue does not mean we should condone violence. Just imagine, under the pretext of communication, we will tolerate all forms of violence in Hong Kong, that will be the end of the rule of law in Hong Kong. We want to end violence through law enforcement. But we will not give up building a platform for dialogue," she said.  

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