On Wednesday, Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam indicated that she is going to withdraw the extradition bill that fuelled protests in the city. In the past three months, Hong Kong has faced violent anti-government protesters opposed to the extradition bill.
Withdrawal of extradition bill little too late
The move to withdraw the bill was not met with the anticipated relief or happiness but rather with greater anger and frustrations. However, the compromise is a little too late. The protests are unlikely to stop anytime soon. The government is hoping to outflank the protesters by labeling them as unwilling to agree to the compromise. Several people, even Lam’s allies, have stated that the withdrawal should have come earlier not now.
The Hong Kong leader had neared an effective solution but seems like she had fallen short just like in June when she suspended the bill. Among the demands of the protesters is police brutality something she has not addressed. Had she moved to address the allegations, she would have taken some wind out of the protest movement.
An independent inquiry is necessary to quell the conflict
Lam has instead insisted that the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) should handle the matter. The IPCC has been under immense criticism as being stacked with pro-government loyalists, and it lacks the confidence of protesters. On Wednesday, moderate pro-Beijing lawmaker, Michael Tien requested the government to set up an independent inquiry. He said that it was necessary to have one because it will help in quelling the conflict and for the city to heal.
Tien said that the withdrawal of the bill is too late because the protest has turned into more than just the bill. He said that having an independent inquiry, for now, will be of utmost importance. Equally, the leader of the largest pro-Beijing Party, Starry Lee, stated that the withdrawal of the bill is late, but at least someone has taken the first step.
Despite the withdrawal of the bill, protest groups have continued to organize student strikes and rallies targeting the city’s airport.