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Carrie Lam vows to start dialogue to find peace

2019-08-20 HKT 10:55
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  • Carrie Lam vows to start dialogue to find peace
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday she hoped the peaceful rally over the weekend will pave the way for dialogue between her administration and "people of all walks of life" to solve the impasse over the extradition bill protests, which has been rocking Hong Kong for over two months.

But Lam shied away from announcing a withdrawal of the controversial bill – reiterating her stance that bill is effectively dead, and again rejected calls for an independent probe into police action – both key demands of the protesters.

Talking to the press before the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, the CE said she and other top officials are ready to reach out to the community and talk to people directly. She said she hopes to listen to people with different political views.

Pressure had been building on the administration after an estimated 1.7 million people took part in a peaceful rally on Sunday in support of the protesters' demands. Lam acknowledged the peaceful rally and said she hoped that it's a sign that the society is calming down and moving away from violence.

She again repeated they will start looking at ways to set up platforms for talks with different sections of the society by getting in touch with people who have called for dialogue.

The CE also confirmed that the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) will seek help from overseas experts in its investigation of complaints against police during the anti-extradition protests.

Dismissing demands for an independent commission to look into the entire crisis, she said even Britain didn’t set up such a probe when riots broke out there in 2011.

The CE was referring to clashes that spread across London districts in August 2011, after a police officer shot and killed a 29-year-old man in Tottenham during an intelligence-led operation. The riots were quelled after five days.

Lam said she had held talks with IPCC chairman Anthony Neoh about the probe and had discussed getting the assistance of people who had taken part in the UK probe. The police watchdog had announced that it was seeking the help of overseas experts earlier.

Lam said the overseas experts will help carry out what she called a “fact-finding study” too look into the public order incidents in recent months. She said Neoh had recently visited Britain and got in touch with experts there.

“It is not just fact finding to provide the sequence of facts. It also will provide the government with recommendations on how to move forward and avoid the recurrence of similar incident,” she said.
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Last updated: 2019-08-20 HKT 13:13