Hong Kong: The biggest responsibility for resolving the Hong Kong crisis lay with the government, news agency Reuters quoted Beijing-backed Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam as saying. Her words hold a tinge of self-criticism towards the steadfast nature of the government officials against the protesters.
In an interview, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam also said she should hold talks with the people no matter how difficult it is. She has already begun the first “open dialogue” sessions in a bid to end nearly four months of violent protests.
Deep wounds have been opened in our society. These will take time to heal," Lam said in an opinion piece in the New York Times.
"But it remains this government's hope that conversation will triumph over conflict and that through its actions, calm can be restored and trust can be rebuilt within the community."
Lam held talks with 150 members of the community, with each participant to be given around three minutes to express their views. Hundreds of anti-government protesters chanted slogans outside the meeting’s venue when the talk was progressing inside.
Lam is a Hong Kong politician serving as the 4th Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2017. Lam's administration has been mired in numerous controversies including the trial and imprisonment of activists as well as the disqualification of several pro-democracy candidates and the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party. In 2019, Lam’s government pushed for the controversial amendment to the extradition law. The widespread opposition to the bill and Lam's hard-line approach on the issue sparked massive protests attended by nearly two million protesters who called for the withdrawal of the bill and her resignation. What started as protests over a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial have evolved into broader calls for greater democracy, among other demands.