Following the mass peaceful demonstration last Sunday, Hong Kong’s leader has pledged to immediately launch a platform for dialogue, but yet again brushed aside demands for an independent commission of inquiry into alleged police misconduct during recent anti-government protests.
In a media briefing ahead of the Executive Council meeting yesterday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced that she would establish a platform for dialogue to directly engage citizens from different sectors and different political beliefs, in the hope of finding a solution to the political turmoil that has gripped the city for more than two months.
“All my principal officials and I are committed to listening to what the people have to tell us,” Lam said.
Lam plans to meet people who have proposed ways to conduct the dialogue this week, with the objective of breaking down differences and ending conflicts.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with the SCMP, Anthony Neoh SC, head of the Independent Police Complaints Council, said that while Lam has declared the extradition bill dead, formally withdrawing the proposed law would give it a “proper burial” that would sooth public anger. He also did not rule out setting up a commission of inquiry led by judges.
Lam also responded to the knife attack in Tseung Kwan O yesterday morning, in which three people were stabbed by a man in a underground footpath connecting King Lam Estate and Hau Tak Estate. The incident happened near a Lennon Wall where protesters had left anti-government and pro-democracy messages.
Among the victims was a 26-year-old woman who was a reporter with Hong Kong Economic Journal. She was on leave after submitting her resignation earlier this month. She is in stable condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital with wounds on her hands, left shoulder and back. Another female victim, aged 35, suffered injuries to her head, and a man, 24, had a head wound and a cut to his left arm. Both were sent to Tseung Kwan O Hospital.
A 50-year-old man was arrested in connection to the attack by police in Lo Wu.
Lam said the government condemned any kind of violent behaviour, and the police would follow up the case.
In a separate development, the British foreign ministry says it is “extremely concerned” about an employee of its consulate in Hong Kong who has been missing since crossing into China on a business trip.
A statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says it is seeking information from Hong Kong and Guangdong province about the fate of the employee, who was detained while crossing from Shenzhen into Hong Kong.
Local media reports identified him as Simon Cheng Man-kit, a trade and investment officer at the Scottish Development International Section of the consulate. The reports say he attended a business event in Shenzhen on August 8 but never returned to Hong Kong despite plans to do so the same day.
Mainland authorities had no immediate comment yesterday.