Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said his administration will meet with student leaders next week in a bid to end the standoff over the pro-democracy Occupy campaign.
The government on Thursday morning sent several mediators to talk with representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) about opening a dialogue and received a positive response, Leung said in a media briefing.
He said a meeting between the two sides would help fulfill society’s expectation of resolving the impasse, adding that everyone should join in pursuing the issue of political reform and the goal of achieving universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Leung acknowledged that the proposed talks with the student leaders had their ups and downs.
The government canceled a scheduled dialogue with the HKFS last week after the protesters said they would remain in the streets until their demands were met.
Meanwhile, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the government is eager to discuss constitutional reform with students and other parties, but talks must be conducted in a rational manner.
Speaking to media after returning from his London visit, Yuen said the government is open to dialogue before or during the second round of consultation on constitutional reform.
He said he hopes parties interested in joining the discussions should show their sincerity.
“Everybody has to think sensibly and pragmatically as we all want universal suffrage in 2017. If we are sincere to conduct talks, we should not insist on something that can’t be realized,” Yuen said, referring to the students’ demand for the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to revoke its framework for the 2017 chief executive election.
He also urged both protesters and disciplinary forces to abide by the law, reacting to public outcry over the Tamar incident in which a group of police officers were caught on camera beating a lone unarmed protester in a dark corner of the park in Admiralty early Wednesday.
“Both police and protesters should not do anything that goes beyond the law,” Yuen said, adding that grievances can be lodged through the legal process.
“In Hong Kong, we have established mechanisms to handle complaints against alleged misconduct of police officers,” he said.
Citizens could file the complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Council and, if necessary, go to court. “I’m sure the matter will be handled in an independent and impartial manner,” he added.
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