HK recovers from violent protests during WTO meeting
By Tonny Chan and Joseph Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-19 05:23
Tsang praised the police for acting professionally and using the minimum
force to bring the situation under control, saying the number of injuries was
small in relation to the size of the rioting crowds, and that this showed the
police had exercised maximum tolerance.
He said many shops in Wan Chai and Causeway suffered business losses, and
promised vigorous efforts would be made by tourism authorities to bring local
activities back to normal. Tsang, however, ruled out compensating the shops.
Early yesterday, three men were still in hospital, including a Korean who
remained in serious condition. Official figures showed at least 135 people 119
men and 16 women were injured, including 61 police.
Among those arrested include 730 men and 180 women, of whom a large numbers
were Koreans. There were also demonstrators from Taiwan, Indonesia and Hong
Meanwhile, 5,000 protestors ignored the government's appeal for calm and
pressed ahead with a rally in Victoria Park. They marched through the shopping
districts in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai in the afternoon, before standing off
with the police along the waterfront off the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition
Centre (HKCEC), where the conference was held.
Hundreds of Korean protestors held out on the waterfront last night,
condemning the deal reached by delegates inside the HKCEC. They also demanded
the police release their fellow nationals.
Buzzing streets were usually quiet yesterday. Around noon, the shutters of
most shops in the area remained shut. The few which were open were prepared to
shut down should the situation flare up again.
While many agreed with the police tactics to keep the use of force to the
minimum even though it would lead to slower dispersal of the protesters, a
member of the Korean group criticized the police for handcuffing his fellow
nationals. "When our protesters resisted the handcuffs, Hong Kong police beat
them," the member said.
(China Daily 12/19/2005 page2)