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Carrie Lam hopes that this weekend’s non-violent protest will lead Hong Kong to peace

August 20, 2019

HONG KONG, Aug 20 (Reuters / EP) –

The leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday that she hopes that the non-violent protest of this weekend in which hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in an anti-government demonstration is the beginning of efforts to restore the Peace in the region.

The protest held on Sunday was the calmest since the latest demonstrations against the growing perceived influence of Beijing in the former British colony intensified in mid-June.

“I have explained and elaborated two important areas of work that we are carrying out,” said Lam. “One is an important research study as well as a robust system to investigate and analyze complaints against the Police during this prolonged period of confrontations and violence,” he said.

Anger broke out in June over a now suspended bill that would allow extradition of criminal suspects in the former British colony to China.

However, the riots have increased due to greater concerns about the erosion of the guaranteed freedoms of “one country, two systems”, established after Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest .

More protests are expected in the coming days, including one of the subway workers this Wednesday, high school students protesting against the extradition bill this Thursday and another demonstration on Friday.

The chaos has spread abroad after Twitter and Facebook companies reported Monday that they had dismantled a social media campaign originated in China that sought to undermine the protests in Hong Kong.

The massive participation of Sunday, in which according to the organizers there were about 1.7 million people, showed that the movement still has wide support despite the chaotic scenes of last week when protesters occupied the airport.

Some activists apologized for the protests at the airport and at the demonstration on Sunday several people could be seen urging others to go home peacefully.

In addition to Lam's resignation, protesters ask for five things: the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, to stop describing protests as “riots”, the withdrawal of charges against detainees, an independent investigation and the resumption of political reform.

“There is no plan to reactivate the bill, especially after seeing public concerns,” said the leader of Hong Kong.

Police have been criticized for using increasingly aggressive tactics to stop the demonstrations, but on Sunday there was a minimal police presence and no arrests were made. Since June more than 700 people have been arrested. Lam has affirmed that a working group has been established to investigate complaints against the Police.