HK leader: Biggest responsibility for resolving crisis lies with govt, Latest World News - The New Paper

HK leader: Biggest responsibility for resolving crisis lies with govt

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said yesterday she had to hold talks with the people no matter how difficult they may be, as she opened the first "open dialogue" session with the public in a bid to end nearly four months of sometimes violent protests.

The biggest responsibility for resolving the crisis in the Chinese-ruled city lay with the government, she said, as pro-democracy protesters chanted slogans outside.

"If we want to walk away from the difficulty and find a way out, the government has to take the biggest responsibility to do so," Ms Lam said at the colonial-era indoor Queen Elizabeth stadium.

Beijing-backed Ms Lam was holding talks with 150 members of the community, with speakers each given around three minutes to express their views.

"Deep wounds have been opened in our society. These will take time to heal," she 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."

Resident Poon Yau-lok, 62, was sceptical that the talks would make any difference.

"They wouldn't listen when 200,000 people marched on the street. Why would they listen to just 150?" she said. - REUTERS