Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam unbowed; wants ‘action’ against teachers

City’s divisive chief executive also concedes that crisis led to defeat of pro-China candidates in local polls.

Lam said on Tuesday that it was not legally possible to give amnesty to the more than 6,000 people arrested during six months of unrest [Jerome Favre/EPA]
Lam said on Tuesday that it was not legally possible to give amnesty to the more than 6,000 people arrested during six months of unrest [Jerome Favre/EPA]

Hong Kong‘s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ruled out further concessions to protesters who marched peacefully in their hundreds of thousands over the weekend, as she demands that the education bureau “take action” against teachers arrested during the six-month-long unrest.

The protest movement has five demands, including that Hong Kong’s leader and legislators all be directly elected and that police actions against protesters are independently investigated.

The only demand that has been met is the withdrawal of the proposed extradition legislation that triggered the movement in June.

But Carrie Lam made clear on Tuesday that she would not budge on the others.

“As for other demands, we really have to stick by certain important principles,” the divisive leader told reporters.

“If a particular demand requires us to deviate from the law, not to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong, or to do things actually beyond the powers of the chief executive, I could not agree to accept those demands.”

One of the protest movement’s demands is amnesty for the more than 6,000 people arrested.

Anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong

Lam said that was not legally possible, while urging the education bureau of the city to “seriously follow up” and “take action” against arrested teachers who took part in protests. She also noted that there were many students who has also been arrested.

The protest march on Sunday in Hong Kong was one of the biggest since mass rallies against the now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China. 

Organisers estimate that 800,000 people joined the rally on Sunday. 

Protesters chanted: “Five demands, not one less!” and held up five fingers.

Lam said the march “reflects the freedoms that Hong Kong people are enjoying” and showed that “all those accusations from various quarters that we are eroding people’s freedoms are unsubstantiated.”

Meanwhile, Lam has conceded to pro-China district council members and candidates that her government played a role in their defeat during the recent local elections.

She was responding to a question on whether she met the defeated establishment candidates, and offered them government jobs.

Lam said there would be “follow-up actions” in response to the protests.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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