Monday, 15 July 2019

What's Carrie Lam's Next Move?

Carrie Lam today visiting the injured police officers in hospital
Hmmm... did the Financial Times get it wrong?

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's office denies that Lam tried to resign several times during the extradition bill fiasco.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, director of the Chief Executive's Office, dismissed the report as "groundless", where it quoted two people who claimed to have knowledge of the situation.

The police were outnumbered by protesters in a shopping mall
"The chief executive has never offered to resign nor tendered her resignation. Never," Chan told a local newspaper.

So who leaked that?

In the meantime, the Junior Police Officers' Association that has 25,000 members has warned it will seek legal advice to protect themselves from danger if management cannot guarantee their safety at work due to the escalating violence over the extradition bill.

In response, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung pledged in a meeting with four officers' associations on Monday to make their safety a priority when planning strategy.

The scenes were ugly and violent for everyone
Strategy? What strategy? Last night there didn't seem to be any cohesive plan on the side of the police in terms of diffusing the situation and getting protesters out of Sha Tin. They corralled them to the MTR station but then didn't allow the trains to stop to stop in Sha Tin -- so how are people supposed to leave?

Very strange and frustrating. And then the ugly battle scenes in New Town Plaza...

In the end at least 28 people were injured, 13 of them police officers.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun believed the association issued the statement to "protest indirectly and show the government's uselessness in the way it handled the situation politically".

Over 100,000 people marched in Sha Tin yesterday
"Police don't want to be sandwiched between the government and protesters and shoulder the political blame on behalf of the government," To added.

He said officers understood the nature of their work was to deal with dangerous situations, but they did not want to be used as a political tool.

So -- it all leads back to Lam. The ball is in her court...

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