Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor meets the press ahead of an Executive Council meeting in Hong Kong on Aug 27, 2019. (PHOTO/CHINA DAILY)
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday the government would spare no efforts in establishing a dialogue platform with people of Hong Kong, regardless of political background, to find a way out of the political impasse.
Speaking to the press before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam emphasized that the initiative should not be seen as condoning violence which escalated in protests over the weekend. In fact, the government has zero tolerance for violence regardless of the circumstances and political motives, and is committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice, she said.
"Starting a dialogue does not mean we should condone violence. Just imagine under the pretext of communication, we will tolerate all forms of violence in Hong Kong, that will be the end of the rule of law in Hong Kong," Lam said.
Lam's remarks came after she and top government officials engaged in talks with different groups of people in two occasions in the past few days – one with high-profile community leaders and the other with mainly youth representatives. She declined to disclose detail of the talks or identify the participants, but mentioned that she had reiterated the reasons behind the government's objection to establishing an independent investigation commission, which is one of the protesters' key demands.
Her remarks came after the city endured the 12th weekend of violent protests against the now-abandoned extradition bill. In those incidents, radical protesters recklessly attacked police officers with gasoline bombs and bricks at multiple locations in Kowloon, and sabotaged 20 sets of multifunctional lamp poles that were part of the smart city project.
Saddened by the radicals' acts, Lam reiterated that violence is never the answer to any problem and it should not be justified for any reason.
Noting that schools will be in session soon, Lam strongly denounced protesters' harassment of police officers' families, especially their school-age children.
"For the families of my police colleagues, I just could not see the association of the protests and the protesters' demands with the harassment of police families," Lam said.
"And I hope every one of us, the education sector especially, takes into mind the bullying and harassment of children. And not just those in police families, but children everywhere," she added.