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Hong Kong leader to hold dialogue over ongoing mass protests

HONG KONG: Chief Executive Carrie Lam indicated on Tuesday that she along with her team would begin dialogues with the protesters next week to end over three-month long demonstrations in the city.

Violent protests have brought Hong Kong to a standstill as the community demanded the administration to formally withdraw the controversial extradition bill.

Lam is under pressure from the Chinese government to diffuse anger among the masses regarding the bill.

“Hong Kong society has really accumulated a lot of deep rooted economic, social and even political issues, I hope these different forms of dialogue can provide a platform for us to discuss,” she told media at a briefing.

She termed the upcoming dialogues “as open as possible, with members of the public able to sign up to attend”.

“But I have to stress here, dialogue platform doesn’t mean we don’t have to take resolute enforcement actions. Suppressing the violence in front of us is still the priority,” she added.

Lam had recently given in to widespread public anger by announcing complete withdrawal of the extradition bill on September 4.

Demonstrators are now demanding universal suffrage as well as independent inquiry on police brutality during protests. So far 1,500 people have been arrested by the police since violent clashes began in June.