Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor has made it clear that the government does not welcome the nomination of three pro-democracy activists for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize because the 2014 Occupy Movement is not something worth encouraging.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday during a five-day visit to Beijing, Lam said the Nobel Peace Prize is an international award respected by people around the world, but it is regrettable that foreign politicians are using it for political intervention, saying that nominating the activists is tantamount to sending political messages, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Her comments came after Beijing on Friday urged the US congressmen who nominated the three Hong Kong activists for the prize to stop meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
Twelve members of the US Congress, including four Democrats and eight Republicans, have sent a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominating Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang for the honor in recognition of their contributions to the city’s fight for democracy.
The trio are known for their leading roles during the 79-day pro-democracy protests dubbed as Occupy Movement or Umbrella Revolution.
Lam said everyone knows the nature of the Occupy Movement, and Hong Kong’s courts have issued judgments on some activists who figured in the protests.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung on Saturday called the Occupy Movement indisputably illegal, and the nomination of the three activists for the award shows that some politicians may not necessarily understand Hong Kong’s situation or they may do so to achieve their own purposes.
Asked about why several pro-democracy activists were barred from joining the Legislative Council by-elections in March, Lam stressed the returning officers only did their job according to law and based on facts and evidence.
She declined to answer the question of whether such a situation will also happen in future District Council elections.
Meanwhile, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang told a forum hosted by Asia Society in its New York headquarters last Friday that the both the US government and the American society should continue watching closely what happens in Hong Kong while putting pressure on Beijing.
The US and the European Union should not mistakenly think keeping silent about human rights issues is a must when it comes to doing business with China, Chan said, adding that the Trump administration’s attitude toward human rights situation in China so far has been disappointing.
Chan also slammed the government’s decision to disqualify those who stand against Beijing from running in elections for contravening the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, and called on Lam to side with Hong Kong people.
Commenting on his nomination for the Nobel, Law said on Sunday that officials in Beijing and Hong Kong always describe foreign reports on Hong Kong’s political problems as political interference, which is a self-protection mentality.
Law said there is no such thing as foreign interference because his political stance will never change whether he is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize or not.
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