Vice Chancellor Joseph Sung of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has called on students participating in the Occupy campaign to end their protests, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Sung said the street occupation has brought a negative impact on people’s daily lives, students’ safety is at stake and the government has shown its willingness to negotiate.
Reacting to his remarks, the CUHK Students Union said the university official was denying the protesters’ contributions toward genuine universal suffrage and working against the civil disobedience campaign.
In a statement published in its newsletter, the union said Sung, if the students’ safety is really his concern, should ask the police and supporters of the anti-Occupy campaign to stop inflicting violence on the peaceful protesters.
Other top university officials also urged the students to end their protests.
Vice Chancellor Wong Yuk-shan of the Open University of Hong Kong and Vice Chancellor Leonard Cheng said they understood the students’ desire to take part in social activities, but the street protests have not only affected the normal operation of society, but have also put the safety of students at risk.
Cheng said only serious and candid conversations between the government and the protesters could help resolve the deadlock.
The Institute of Education president Stephen Cheung said the fight for democracy is a long process, and the students should be happy with their achievements at this stage.
The vice-chancellors of the University of Science and Technology and The City University of Hong Kong have yet to make comments on whether the students should leave the protest sites.
Vice Chancellor Peter Mathieson of the University of Hong Kong reiterated that the university respects the student’s freedom of speech.
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