Sunday, June 23, 2019

Weekend political developments

Among the people marching in protest against the extradition bill 

Anti-China extradition sticker spotted on a shirt sleeve at the same 
protest march where I caught sight of Anson Chan in the crowd
The streets of Hong Kong have been peaceful this weekend -- the first in three weeks without an extradition bill protest march taking place -- and my life has felt fairly normal; with my having spent time hanging out with friends in quiet cafés rather than marching on crowded streets in their company.  But a number of former government officials and current politicians have been causing a stir with their utterances in recent days; this not least since they look to point to a time in the not so distant future where things will feel settled, and in the direction favored by those of us who really care far more for Hong Kong than China. 
Then there's the open letter than Anson Chan has penned to Carrie Lam and has been published in full on the Hong Kong Free Press website.  In addition to emphasizing that Lam needs to "fully acknowledge the gravity of the current situation", Chan goes on to suggest in detail -- complete with the reasoning behind them -- what needs to be done "to defuse tension and restore lasting calm to our streets".  Since they make a lot of sense to me, I am hereby going to quote the steps that Chan has recommended needs to be taken:-

[S]top juggling with semantics and state, categorically, that you are withdrawing the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019; your refusal to do so only invites suspicion and fuels anger;

[E]stablish a completely impartial Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a senior member of the Judiciary, into the circumstances of the disturbances on 12 June and the response of our police force. I believe this is vital, not just to acknowledge the deep concerns of the protesters and their families, but to restore the trust and respect of our community for a force that has maintained our safety and served us with courage and integrity for so many years. The officers in the front line should not be pilloried simply for following orders and doing what they believed was their duty to maintain law and order;

[C]onsider offering a one-off amnesty to all involved in potentially criminal acts on 12 June: namely those who have been arrested and may be charged with riotous behaviour, those who may be charged at a later date and members of the police force who, while acting under orders, may be found to have used excessive force.

And I trust that pretty much everyone who reads them will agree that these are eminently sensible and reasonable steps that ought to be taken by a Chief Executive who's lost so much credibility through her recent stubborn, arrogant actions that it will be impossible for her government to function without acceding to at least some of the core demands openly and loudly made by a whole lot of angry, determined Hong Kong people in recent weeks.


peppylady (Dora) said...

Have to wonder if there any marches or demonstration in smaller towns or village. I live in small town and we had only a very small amount of demonstration of anything. I only recall three and I would say less then 20 people was involved.
Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

I wouldn't be surprised if a number of protests during the Civil Rights era took place in small American towns or villages. Also, I have a feeling that there'd be a number of marches or demonstrations in college towns -- a number of which are small towns.

Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed with the persistence and clarity of vision that protesters are exhibiting in HK. Crossing my fingers that it will bear fruit, progress will be made and there will be peace in the days ahead. Cheering you on from afar... ~Joy

YTSL said...

Hi Joy --

Great to hear from you, and thanks much for your comments, support and good wishes!