Date
21 October 2019
Carrie Lam speaks to reporters ahead of an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
Carrie Lam speaks to reporters ahead of an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Dialogue sessions with community to begin next week: Carrie Lam

Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she and her team will begin dialogue sessions with the community next week in a bid to resolve the current crisis in the city.

The dialogue sessions will be as open as possible, with members of the public able to sign up to attend, she said.

“Hong Kong society has really accumulated a lot of deep rooted economic, social and even political issues, I hope these different forms of dialogue can provide a platform for us to discuss,” Lam told reporters at a weekly briefing, Reuters reports.

The issues include housing and land shortages, the chief executive said.

Meanwhile, Lam stressed that the violence that has roiled the city over three months of protests must end.

“But I have to stress here, dialogue platform doesn’t mean we don’t have to take resolute enforcement actions. Suppressing the violence in front of us is still the priority,” she said.

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested since the protests intensified in June.

The turmoil is beginning to hit the economy of the financial hub.

Moody’s on Monday changed its outlook on Hong Kong’s rating to negative from stable, reflecting what it called the rising risk of “an erosion in the strength of Hong Kong’s institutions”.

Lam said the credit rating agency’s decision was disappointing.

“We do not concur, especially if the justification for that sort of change in outlook is premised on whether we’re still upholding ‘one country two systems’,” she said.

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