Date
18 August 2017
Student leaders say any attempt to clear demonstrators from the streets before Friday will jeopardize talks with the government. Photo: HKEJ
Student leaders say any attempt to clear demonstrators from the streets before Friday will jeopardize talks with the government. Photo: HKEJ

Talks between students and HK govt set for Friday

The first dialogue between student protesters and top government officials is set for Friday at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live.

Each side will send five people for the talks. Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) secretary-general Alex Chow Yong-kang will lead the student delegation.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam will head the government team which will include Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam, according to Apple Daily.

The venue was not decided at the third preparatory meeting on Tuesday between students and Lau Kong-wah, the Undersecretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.

The HKFS suggested the Legislative Council or the University of Hong Kong, both of which were rejected by the government. The students turned down the government proposal of the Youth Square in Chai Wan or the Community Hall.

Lau said after the meeting the venue could be somewhere in Wan Chai and a decision will be made after field checks today.

The HKFS asked the government to present concrete measures in response to the demand for genuine universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election, but the government insisted constitutional issues regarding political reform should top the agenda.

HKFS deputy secretary-general Lester Shum said the group is disappointed with the government’s attitude and an escalation of the civil disobedience campaign is not ruled out if the government does not show sincerity during the dialogue but tries to “play with” the students on Friday.

He also warned that any attempt to evacuate demonstrators from the streets before Friday will jeopardize the dialogue.

An unnamed official familiar with the matter told Ming Pao Daily that the comment about “playing” is shocking as the student representatives at the meeting did not object to the topics proposed by the government. The official questioned if such comments are aimed at instigating citizens to continue street occupation.

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