Hong Kong: In a move that signals Hong Kong administration’s willingness to tone down the massive protests that had hit the region for the last three months, the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, formally withdrew the controversial extradition bill.
Lam said, “We must find ways to address the discontent in society and look for solutions. After more than two months of social unrest, it is obvious to many that this discontentment extends far beyond the bill.”
The extradition bill which quickly became controversial stipulated that criminal suspects could be extradited to mainland China for trial. Hong Kong residents saw this as an apparent move by China to meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs and to overturn the autonomy granted to the region.
However, after the protests turned massive, the demands of the protesters also increased. They now called for four more demands which included more democratic rights for the city, independent commission into alleged police brutality, etc.
However, Carrie Lam has only accepted the demand to withdraw the extradition bill and did not relent on the other four demands of the protesters.
In June, Lam said that the bill was dead but protesters did not believe her till she formally withdraw the legislation. The mass protests were took an ugly turn last week when hundreds were arrested and demonstrators threw bombs at police headquarters and government buildings in the city.
There was also a widespread fear that China would intervene military to curb the growing unrest in Hong Kong. However, it is apparent that majority of the Hong Kong people do not wish to be under the iron rule of a communist China.
China, which has been battling for Pakistan in the Kashmir issue, has been silent on its undemocratic actions towards autonomous region of Hong Kong.