Hong Kong leader forced to abandon address

  • Thursday 17, October 2019 07:50 AM
  • Hong Kong leader forced to abandon address
Sharjah24 – Reuters: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had to abandon her policy speech because of jeering lawmakers on Wednesday but later offered no direct olive branch to pro-democracy protesters, hoping instead to ease resentment by building more public housing.
Lam, who had to broadcast the annual address via a video link after the rowdy scenes in the Legislative Council, had hoped to try to restore confidence in her administration after four months of often violent anti-government and anti-China protests.

She gave up initial attempts to deliver the address after pro-democracy lawmakers called out for "five demands, not one less" and projected the protest rallying cry on to a backdrop behind her.

The demands include universal suffrage for the Chinese-ruled city and an independent inquiry into what they say has been excessive force by police in dealing with the unrest.

Protesters have trashed government buildings, including the Legislative Council, daubed businesses seen as pro-China with graffiti, set street fires and thrown petrol bombs at police who have responded with water canon, tear gas, rubber bullets and several live rounds.

In her policy statement, Lam was unapologetic about her government's response to the protests, which has included introducing British colonial-era emergency laws this month.

"Any acts that advocate Hong Kong’s independence and threaten the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests will not be tolerated," she said.