HK is paying the price
Updated: 2014-10-01 07:42
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying warned on Tuesday that Hong Kong is "paying the price" as street protests entered their third day.
Speaking ahead of a weekly Executive Council meeting, he said the ill-effects on the economy were being felt, people's livelihood has been seriously disrupted, particularly emergency medical services, and the city's international reputation would suffer.
"The people's safety is at stake," he said, explaining that ambulances have been unable to enter areas occupied by the demonstrators in order to get sick or injured people to hospitals on time.
Leung called on leaders of the "Occupy Central" campaign to call off the protests immediately and honor their pledge to do this if the disturbances got out of control. He said this has already occurred.
The Chief Executive reiterated that the protests were illegal and would not succeed in forcing the central government to reverse the decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on the SAR's political reform.
He also rejected demands for his resignation, saying that any decision he takes before universal suffrage is implemented would mean Hong Kong choosing a new leader under the existing Election Committee system.
Public transport continued to be paralyzed and schools and businesses remained shut on Tuesday as the disturbances continued with no sign of abating.
Protesters were still illegally occupying prime financial and commercial areas at Admiralty and Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, as well as in Mong Kok, on Tuesday despite repeated demands from government and community leaders for them to call off the campaign.
Dozing off ... young protesters begin to show fatigue during the sit-in in Causeway Bay, snoring away as they prepare for their 'replacements' to show up. Photos by Edmond Tang, Parker Zheng / China Daily
It was like a bazaar and carnival along Queensway at Admiralty as weary protesters take shelter under tents erected along the road. The number of demonstrators dropped significantly in the afternoon amid the sweltering heat.
(HK Edition 10/01/2014 page6)