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【Open letter to Chief Executive Carrie Lam from Student’s Unions of Higher Institutions】
6 July 2019
Dear Ms. Lam,
Previously, you have contacted representatives of the Student’s Unions of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology through executive offers of the respective university, expressing your willingness to meet with student representatives on a closed-door basis. The Office of the Chief Executive later issued statements on 4th and 5th July respectively, stating that the meetings will be held in a “small scale and closed-door manner”, and that details of the meeting will not be released to the public, requesting the two student’s unions to ‘reconsider’. We are deeply disappointed at your response. We hereby emphasise that we will not accept any closed-door arrangements, and we will not make further considerations or reconsiderations.
Ms. Lam must realise that there are no leaders in the No Extradition to China Movement, Student’s Unions of Higher Institutions have no right to represent protestors to conduct any form of bargaining or negotiations. Therefore, any form of meeting must include representatives from various sectors in society, as well as other participants in the movement. The meeting has to be open and transparent to the public, otherwise any legitimacy or meaning possibly derived from the conversation is voided. As the head of the government, the responsibility to be held accountable for the Amendment Bill controversy is inalienable from the position of Chief Executive. Yet, you have chosen to hide cowardly behind the walls of your residence, refusing to face the people, your people. A closed-door arrangement would only render the meeting a performance of your outstanding public relations skills. We have no intention to be the audience to that. Besides, your selective invitations are merely pathetic attempts to diversify the student’s unions, we refuse to accept such insincerity.
Furthermore, you promised to change your governance style earlier at the 1 July HKSAR anniversary celebrations and indicated that you would “respect and care for youngsters”. While these words are still ringing in our ears, you have acted against your very own promise. Not only did you turn a blind eye to demands from youngsters, forcing them onto irreversible paths, but also hunt down protestors in an unprecedented scale, even a 14-year-old minor could not escape the ‘great round-up’. Shamelessly going back on your words and retaliate against protestors is infuriating, we strongly condemn such acts. The reason behind how the movement developed stem from the Government’s ignorance and blatant disrespect of the people’s voices. You are responsible. Thus, our stance is crystal clear, before any form of meeting with Student’s Unions of Higher Institutions, the following conditions must be satisfied:
1. A permanent halt in the investigation on any protestors from 9 June to 1 July; and,
2. The meeting must be conducted in a transparent and public manner, representatives from various sectors must be present, the press and the general public should also be in attendance.
No consideration or reconsideration in regard to a meeting should be expected from us unless the above are satisfied. These two are prerequisites for a meeting, there will be no compromising when it comes to the 5 demands from the public for the extradition bill.
Up till now, 4 Hongkongers passed away because of your incompetence. They felt hopeless and found no other way but to take their own lives in order to reiterate their demands. They have done so because of your incompetence. With four lives in the back of your mind, we wonder if your conscience finds itself at ease. If you would prefer not to have more lives sacrificed, you could face your people with utmost humility, respond to their demands. It would be deluded for you to think that we will repeat our mistake 5 years ago.
The Hong Kong University Students’ Union
Student Union of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Students’ Union
The City University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Students' Union
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Students' Union
The Education University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Hong Kong Federation of Students