HK leader Carrie Lam to meet citizens to defuse protest crisis

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 17: Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday announced that she is all set to open talks with members of the public next week after months of anti-Government protests in the city.
Lam said that she would meet 100-200 citizens in a bid to reconnect with the public and find a way to defuse the ongoing political crisis.
Speaking before weekly Executive Council meeting, she said, “This is an open dialogue platform which we would invite people from all walks of life to, to express their views to us”.
“This is because of our conviction that communication is far better than confrontation”.
“The problems go well beyond the bill, so it is important for the government to listen and engage the community to have a better understanding of those problems” she added.
Lam said that she understood anger stemmed from “housing, land shortage, lack of diversity and inclusiveness in our economy”.
There will be 3 types of dialogue under the approach outlined by the Government.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong Airlines had announced that it will cut 7% of its passenger flights until the end of the year as it responds to a sharp fall in demand that is deepening its financial problems.
Last week, Cathay Pacific Airways, which controls 3 of the city’s 4-passenger airlines, said that it would no longer expand by 6% over the winter as it grappled with the protests and the impact of pressure from Beijing – factors which have led to steep declines in business on mainland China routes.
Hong Kong has been shaken from huge mass protests for 15 consecutive weekends that caused the number of tourists coming to the city to drop sharply. Some 40% fewer people visited in August, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.
Last week, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned the United States not to “interfere” with her Government’s response to the city’s pro-democracy movement after fresh protests called on Washington to ramp up pressure on Beijing.
Earlier in the month, Lam now has formally withdrawn the proposed law. The move meets 1 of 5 demands made by the protestors. (Courtesy: TS)