Date
24 September 2017
Protesters gather near the chief executive's office in the early hours of Monday. Photo: Reuters
Protesters gather near the chief executive's office in the early hours of Monday. Photo: Reuters

HK public wants protest sites cleared, says CY Leung

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the public’s call for police to clear the Occupy protest sites is growing stronger and stronger, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

He urged the protesters Monday not to assume the police are incapable of restoring social order. 

Leung said the police have exercised maximum restraint and that tolerance should not be taken for granted.

Commenting on the storming of the government’s headquarters in Admiralty in the day’s early hours, Leung said twice, “if such violent behavior can be tolerated, what could not be tolerated?”

Universal suffrage can only be called genuine if it is set up according to the Basic Law and the decisions by the National People’s Congress (NPC), Leung said.

Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong said citizens have heard the requests of the Occupy protesters loud and clear and the protests should end now.

No one will support violence, Lam said, calling for those who surrounded the government headquarters to reflect on their behavior. He said even people who supported the students would feel hurt.

Lam said the government should start conversations with the protesters on multiple fronts, on condition that social order is restored and protesters cease storming government facilities and charging police lines.

Leung said the government and police have tolerated the students and he hopes they do not get arrested during clearing operations, as a criminal record would hurt their chances of further studies or work opportunities overseas or on the mainland.

In an open letter, the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the 18 district councils expressed their support for the police in carrying out their duties, enabling traffic and order to resume at the protest sites.

Occupy Central founder Benny Tai said on his Facebook page that political issues must be resolved through political means.

It was downright wrong for the government to deploy limited police manpower in trying to resolve a political dilemma, he wrote.

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EL/AC/FL

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