Roland T Chin, the president of Hong Kong Baptist University, has spoken out about the recent protests in the city and called for the establishment of a Truth Comission following allegations of agression from protesters, excessive police force and foreign interference. The text of the email is below:
Dear Students, Alumni and Colleagues,
People are entitled to the truth: Let’s set up a Truth Commission
It has been a month since I last communicated with you. It was a torturous month with many sleepless nights. We experienced 6.12, 7.1, 7.14, 7.21, 7.27 and 7.28: dates of darkness. We witnessed more violence, bloodshed, hatred, condemnation, arrests and indictments. What’s happening is heart-breaking.
There are allegations of increased aggression from the protesters. There are allegations of excessive police force. There are allegations of gang collusion. There are allegations of foreign interference. What we see and hear is confusing and conflicting.
Hong Kong citizens cherish freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and this combination has cultivated generations of truth-loving people. We must not shy away from the inconvenient truth about what has happened, which has shocked us to the core over the last several weeks.
Every citizen in Hong Kong wants social stability and harmony. But true stability and harmony only grows in the hearts and minds of the people, and stems from the promise of fairness and justice. True stability cannot last if facts are ignored, distorted or suppressed. Without the truth, there is no right and wrong, and thus no justice.
Universities are places to pursue truth and virtue. I would therefore like to advocate the setting up of a Truth Commission, which should be made up of unimpeachable personalities that Hong Kong people trust. The purpose of the Truth Commission is to unearth the facts, not to apportion blame. In other words, truth-seeking is not finger-pointing nor pursuing punishment. By establishing the truth, all parties can learn from it, and Hong Kong can rebuild and move forward.
The world has high hopes for Hong Kong. As citizens, we have high hopes for ourselves, and we hope that our Government can regain respect through bold action and moral authority.
People are entitled to the truth.
Roland T Chin