Monday, 15 June 2015

Ratcheting Up Tensions in Hong Kong

Yesterday saw only a few thousand people march with yellow umbrellas
The top story from Hong Kong today was that 10 people were arrested after police found explosives they suspected would be detonated before the Legislative Council debates the political reform package from Wednesday.

The authorities said they seized highly unstable explosives called TATP (tracetone triperoxide) from a vacant ATV lot in Sai Kung early this morning, and the bomb squad was called in to detonate the explosives.

Six men and four women were arrested between the ages of 21 to 58, and apparently were core members of a local radical group.

Bomb squad was called in to detonate homemade explosives
Things in Hong Kong have become more divisive with the debate over the political reform package gets underway. However not many showed up at the protest march yesterday. Organizers were expecting 50,000 people, but only about 3,500 participated.

There are some news reports that say the city is split 50-50 over agreeing with Beijing's demand that the two to three candidates must be pre-approved by the mainland.

And then there are other media articles saying the tide is starting to grow against the reform package -- that people would rather say no to this form of "democracy" than accept it.

All 27 pan-democrats have said they are determined to vote down the proposal -- which would deny the government the two-thirds majority needed to pass it.

The question is -- will the pan-democrats really do it?

Leung earlier claimed someone tried to bribe him; it was a lie
As an American friend who lives here remarked, it's a gutsy move to reject the chance at democracy in 2017 -- and demand a better one -- but it has also been revealed that if Hong Kong accepted the package as it is now, there are no promises as to what would exactly happen.

While these alleged bomb-making radicals are adding some shocking spice to the tension, they do not represent everyone who is against the political reform package.

Even Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor admitted yesterday on a radio show that her 20 months of working on trying to pass this may all be wasted.

And the fiasco with "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, who should not jeopardize the situation by spreading lies about bribes...

That and making explosives are diverting our attention from what's really at stake...

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