See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Politics

Hong Kong set for more protest

Hong Kong gears up for more protests over extradition Bill as hundreds gather.

Written by

Updated: June 21, 2019

Protesters began streaming in towards the Hong Kong government headquarters early Friday (June 21) morning, joining others who had camped there overnight after the administration ignored a deadline the previous day to withdraw a controversial extradition Bill.

They have vowed to escalate matters on Friday and cut off access to the roads surrounding the government central offices in Tamar, Admiralty until their list of demands are met.

These include a complete withdrawal of the proposed law – plans for which have been indefinitely suspended – for the June 12 protests not to be categorised as a riot, for everyone arrested for rioting to be released, and for the police to be investigated for abuse of power during the protests.

By about 7.45am on Friday, hundreds of mostly young black-clad protesters had massed outside the Legislative Council (LegCo) building as more gathered.

Student Kenneth Lau, 16, said he was with friends and would “do whatever it takes” until Chief Executive Carrie Lam responds to protesters.

“Why is she keeping quiet? She needs to talk to us and properly explain why police treated students this way last week,” he said, referring to the police’ firing of rubber bullets and tear gas.

The government offices are closed on Friday, in anticipation of street rallies.

Protest organisers read out a letter from a supporter in Taiwan, who also sent over a box of snacks with notes of encouragement.

On social media and posters stuck on glass panels of buildings in the vicinity, the same message echoed – “We do not disperse if the Bill is not fully withdrawn”.

Given that the government has indefinitely suspended plans for the Bill, it will automatically lapse when the current Legislative Council’s four-year term ends in July 2020. But the protesters, who have held several massive rallies since June 9, remain insistent.

High school student Winnie Choi, 16, said on Thursday night that she would return to Tamar on Friday morning to show solidarity with the protesters.

“Although this may not result in any change or get Carrie Lam to have a dialogue with us, it’s better that we come over to see how we can be of help than staying at home and watching things unfold,” she said, referring to the embattled Hong Kong leader who has come under pressure to resign over the protests.

The divisive extradition Bill, mooted in February, was intended to allow Hong Kong to send fugitives to jurisdictions it does not have such agreements with, including mainland China.

But Hong Kongers’ distrust of the Chinese legal system fuelled fears that they could be targeted under this law without receiving a fair trial or human rights protection.

Mrs Lam, who has publicly apologised twice for her handling of the situation, had tried to allay such fears saying the proposed changes initiated by her, and not Beijing, were in line with international norms meant to prevent the city from becoming a haven for fugitives.

Secretary for Security John Lee had said that the proposed amendments were watered down twice and that the government, after listening to public feedback, had put in place additional safeguards.

But many did not accept these explanations and protest organisers say over a million people took to the streets on June 9. At the rally a week later, organisers said two million people marched to demonstrate their opposition to the Bill.

Tensions peaked on June 12 when the Bill was to be tabled for a second reading, with protesters surrounding the government complex to prevent lawmakers from entering.

Violent clashes broke out, with some protesters throwing bricks and metal poles at police officers, who retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas.

More than 80 people were injured and 32 were arrested. Eight of those arrested were later freed unconditionally.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Politics

Indonesia slams Singapore for withholding information on nationals treated for COVID-19

Indonesia complains on Singapore insisting to withhold personal information of its citizens showing COVID-19 symptoms in Jakarta. The Indonesian government has complained that Singapore insists on withholding the personal information of several Indonesian citizens believed to have shown COVID-19 symptoms in Jakarta and tested positive for the lethal virus in the city-state. Jakarta said it was facing difficulties in tracing and isolating those who might have had contact with the patients, now being treated at Singaporean hospitals. “We have asked for the identities of the Indonesian nationals from Singapore. They did not give us the names. How are we going to conduct the tracing in Indonesia? Singapore is adamant on not disclosing their identities,”

By The Jakarta Post
March 13, 2020

Current affairs, Politics

Seoul stocks sink, trigger first circuit breaker for 5 min in 8 years 

The Kospi plummeted more than 5 per cent during Thursday trading, which triggered the stock exchange to temporarily halt trading on Korea’s main bourse, as investor sentiments weighed on the coronavirus pandemic. The Korea Exchange activated a “sidecar,” meaning it temporarily halted the trading of shares, for five minutes around 1:04 p.m. after Kospi 200 index futures slipped over 5 percent. It was the first time the sidecar had been activated for the Kospi since Oct. 4, 2011, when Greece defaulted on its debts. “The temporarily halt trading was due to the plunging of the Kospi 200 index futures. They plummeted from 256.90 points to 243.90 points — down 13 points, or 5.06 percent at that time for over a minute,” a KRX official said. The s

By Asia News Network
March 12, 2020

Current affairs, Politics

Final temporary hospital in Wuhan closes its doors

A total of 15 such hospitals, converted from exhibition halls, sports stadiums and warehouses, received more than 12,000 patients. All the 15 temporary hospitals built to exclusively receive novel coronavirus patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, have been closed, with the daily number of reported new cases hitting a record low. Wuchang Temporary Hospital, which was converted from a sports stadium, closed on Tuesday afternoon after its final 49 patients were discharged, making it the last of the temporary hospitals in Wuhan, the centre of the epidemic in China, to close its doors. The hospital, which was converted within two days, received a total of 1,124 patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 in the 35 days of its operation. No patients died in the hosp

By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Current affairs, Politics

Social media curbs removed in Jammu and Kashmir after seven months

 Jammu and Kashmir administration removes restrictions on social media use across Union Territory almost seven months after a communication clampdown since the Centre’s announcement to scrap the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration on Wednesday removed restrictions from social media usage across the Union Territory almost seven months after a communication clampdown on the eve of the Centre’s August 5 announcement to scrap the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 and its bifurcation. The directions came after a review of the situation by the J&K Home department. The order, issued without the

By The Island
March 10, 2020

Current affairs, Politics

15 Korean pharmas, 4 state institutes research coronavirus

South Korea’s state-run research institutes and pharmaceutical firms are working hard to find a cure for the new coronavirus. South Korea’s state-run research institutes and pharmaceutical firms are working hard to find a cure for the new coronavirus, according to news reports Monday. Around 15 firms and four institutes here are burning the midnight oil to get an effective cure, according to Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association. KPBMA Chairman Won Hee-mok emphasized the synergies between private and public research bodies in yielding a faster outcome. The association identified Korean companies working on vaccines — including SK Bioscience, GC Pharma, Boryung Biopharma, Sumagen and G+FLAS Life Sciences. T

By Asia News Network
March 9, 2020

Current affairs, Politics

‘Incredible India’ now being viewed as intolerant India, says FM Qureshi

 “Modi’s policies are taking a bloody and dangerous turn,” says the foreign minister. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday stated that ‘Incredible India’ is now being viewed as “intolerant India”, and ‘Shining India’ as “burning India”, adding that the country is now facing international scrutiny like never before. The foreign minister expressed these views while speaking at a seminar, organised by the Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies, in Islamabad. During his address, Qureshi stated: “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies are taking a bloody and dangerous turn, as predicted by Prime Minister Imran Khan.” Referring to the country

By Asia News Network
March 6, 2020