The University of Hong Kong class boycott committee has decided to temporarily suspend its strike, which was meant to last at least a week.
Committee member Yvonne Leung Lai-kwok said it decided to call off the boycott because its campaign had entered a new stage, in which it was pressing for a timetable for setting up a committee to review the university's governing council.
Leung also revealed that the university had rejected two out of three of their conditions for a meeting with HKU council chairman Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung and vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson - that the meeting should be held on the campus, and that two council members should attend. The committee is now waiting for a reply on the third condition, that the session be broadcast on campus television.
Leung doubted Li's sincerity about the meeting, as he was insisting that the session be held outside the campus on the basis of security concerns.
Meanwhile, an urgent meeting of the HKU Academic Staff Association last Friday to discuss whether to support the students' call for a class boycott had to be cancelled due to a low turnout. The meeting was to allow the association's 500 members to vote on a motion to support the strike, but fewer than 25 people turned up.
The boycott, which started on January 20, came after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's appointment of ex-education minister Li as the council's new chairman at the end of last year. The boycott organisers want a review of the HKU council's governance.
They also demand that the chief executive no longer be automatically made HKU chancellor, and that at least half of the council members should come from inside the university.