Five senior Liberal Party leaders have urged Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to fully withdraw the extradition bill and establish an independent inquiry into the recent disturbances in the city, echoing the demands of many ordinary citizens.
In an open letter on Friday, Allen Lee Peng-fei, founding chairman of the pro-business party, joined hands with three party honorary chairpersons — James Tien Pei-chun, Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee and Miriam Lau Kin-yee — and another party senior, Felix Chung Kwok-pan, to call on Lam to “concede to two requests which are considered reasonable by many” to demonstrate “goodwill” to initiate “meaningful communication” to put an end to the current crisis.
“We are deeply distressed by the recent developments resulting from the introduction and subsequent suspension of the Extradition Bill. The recent disturbances have seriously threatened the stability of our community and may lead to dire consequences to our world status.”
“Clashes in the streets between violent protestors and unidentified mobs have caused injuries to innocent citizens and the police seem to be helpless in controlling the continuous conflicts,” they said in the letter.
“We are sure you will agree this cannot be allowed to go on,” they added.
The five said they consider the chief executive “the only one who can lead an urgent initiative to restore the balance in our society, not by using force against violence, but to engage in genuine dialogue with the peaceful protestors through the help of a wide panel of community leaders.”
First, they urged Lam to announce an official withdrawal of the bill, suggesting that she use “撤回” as the term in Chinese so as to “end any further dispute of semantics” in relation to the status of the proposed legislation.
The Hong Kong government has said the controversial extradition bill, which triggered millions-strong protest marches in the city last month, has been suspended, but there has been no word as to whether it has been scrapped altogether.
The second appeal the five Liberal Party leaders made to Lam is for appointment of an independent commission of inquiry, which, they said, “would pacify emotional and perhaps unfounded accusations on both sides.”
They pointed out that an independent inquiry panel is something that is being sought by “a large number of highly respected citizens from the public, judicial and legal, business sectors.”
In the letter, the five added that they hope Lam will accept the proposal “so that the peace process can begin.”
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