A group of former Hong Kong government officials and lawmakers have issued a joint statement calling on Chief Executive Carrie Lam to withdraw the extradition law bill and for her ministers to resign in protest if she fails to do so.
The 27 signatories of the "urgent appeal" include former security chief Peter Lai, ex-Legco president Andrew Wong, former chief secretary Anson Chan, former deputy economics chief Liz Bosher, and former Liberal Party legislator Allen Lee.
They said they are deeply saddened to see the government is insisting on "ramming" its extradition law changes through Legco, despite the deep concern and controversy the move has caused.
They said Lam has been left "unmoved" by the sight of a million protesters braving sweltering heat to oppose her plans, as well by the TV images and newspaper photographs of young people getting injured in Wednesday's "bloody conflict" with the police.
"This is our future generation to be cherished, how can anyone with a heart not be pained to see the treatment they received?", the statement said.
"A deeply divided society, serious concerns of the international community – are these the sacrifices to be made to satisfy the will of the Chief Executive? What great public interest is supposed to be served by the hurried passage of this bill? Where will this escalation of police force to suppress protest lead Hong Kong?"
The statement said Lam should "yield to public opinion" and withdraw the proposed legislation for more thorough deliberations.
It said her principal officials and executive councillors also accountable to the people and they should advise Lam to change course, resigning if their advice is ignored.