Students from two of Hong Kong’s top schools have joined the independence debate by setting up localist Facebook groups. One posted a strongly-worded statement that talked about encouraging separatist feelings.
The localist groups – at Diocesan Boys’ School, Mong Kok, and La Salle College, Kowloon Tong – bring the number of secondary schools with such groups to at least 56. That is more than 10 per cent of the 500 secondary schools in the city.
In the statement posted on Facebook on Sunday night, the Diocesan Boys’ School National Affairs Society criticised the SAR government. They said the government was “going against public opinion”, and that the government wants to crush Hongkongers’ willpower and make localists look bad.
As of yesterday, that post had more than 4,600 likes.
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A spokeswoman for the school said: “While we applaud the students’ concern for national affairs, the school has not received any application to establish such a society. The school continues to support discussions and conversations on various subjects.”
The school’s localist group also said it did not represent the stance of the school.
Jackie Lau, a DBS alumnus who graduated in 2012, shared the post. He told Young Post: “I am so proud to be one of the DB jais [meaning he’s proud that he’s an alumnus; jai = boy]. I hope the school will support this group, as we are all concerned about the future of Hong Kong.”
Jackie now studies in Taiwan.
The localist group for La Salle College said it supports localism and wants to “draw a divide” between Hong Kong and the mainland, but did not say what its stance on independence was. The school’s principal, Tong Wun-sing, said it was not clear whether the page was set up by the students yet. But Tong added that the school respected students’ freedom of expression if they were discussing independence topics off campus.