26 April 2019
Hundreds of origami umbrellas in support of the pro-democracy movement are displayed at a protest site in Admiralty. Photo: AFP
Hundreds of origami umbrellas in support of the pro-democracy movement are displayed at a protest site in Admiralty. Photo: AFP

Students urge govt to set timetable for resolving crisis

Hong Kong students said they will continue with their street occupation despite scheduled talks with the government, and urged Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his government to come up with a timetable and roadmap to resolve the political crisis, Apple Daily reported Monday.

Lester Shum, deputy secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said the students have always been willing to communicate, but the government is to blame for the deadlock after it submitted an inaccurate and incomplete consultation paper on Hong Kong’s political reform to the National People’s Congress and used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters.

HKFS representatives are due to meet with government officials on Tuesday in a two-hour session hosted by Lingnan University vice chancellor Leonard Cheng, an adviser to CY Leung’s election campaign back in 2012. The meeting will be broadcast live.

Reacting to criticisms that he might be biased as a moderator of the discussions, Cheng said he would not be expressing his own viewpoint during the proceedings.

Admitting that it is difficult to predict the outcome of the meeting, Cheng said he hoped the two sides could build mutual trust and continue with their dialogues.

University professor Chan Kin-man, one of the convenors of the Occupy Central movement, said the student representatives will lead the dialogue from the side of the protesters, stressing that other pro-democracy groups will not intervene or decide for the students what their bottom line should be.

Chan, however, was not holding high hopes of a positive outcome for the talks. He believes the government should first submit a supplementary document to the central government to reflect the people’s strong clamor for genuine universal suffrage.

Pan-democratic groups issued a joint statement on Sunday calling on all parties to stop creating unfavorable conditions for the meeting.

They also said CY Leung should not to try to divert public attention from the UGL saga by ordering the police to clear protest sites. The chief executive has denied any wrongdoing in the HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) payment he received from Australian company UGL.

The joint statement said Leung must take full responsibilities if casualties resulted from the police clearing operations.

Meanwhile, Leung said in an ATV interview that he wanted to listen to the views of the students face-to-face and he hoped that the proposed meeting on Tuesday would bear fruit.

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