Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the anti-government protests in the city were turning more violent, but insisted that her administration is capable of handling the crisis.
Speaking to the media ahead of an Executive Council meeting, Lam said she will not give up on building a platform for dialogue, Reuters reports.
“We should prepare for reconciliation in society by communicating with different people … We want to put an end to the chaotic situation in Hong Kong,” Lam was quoted as saying.
However, starting a dialogue doesn’t mean that the government will condone violence, she said.
The police must continue their action to maintain law and order, Lam said, according to public broadcaster RTHK.
Lam denied that her government has lost control of the situation.
The comments came after demonstrations escalated on Sunday, when police fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas in running battles with protesters who threw bricks and petrol bombs.
The government said on Monday that violence was pushing Hong Kong to the brink of great danger after weekend clashes that included the first gun-shot and the arrest of 86 people, the youngest just 12.
Authorities have so far refused to meet any of the protesters’ key demands, which include complete withdrawal of the now-suspended extradition bill and independent inquiry into police conduct.
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