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Social order must be restored

October 04, 2014


Chief Executive CY Leung

The Occupy Central movement has spread to various locations on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon over the past week, causing serious repercussions to people's daily life and income. The provision of government services to the public has been affected as well.


Yesterday some protesters blocked all access to the Central Government Offices at Tamar and the Chief Executive's Office. Some 3,000 government staff could not return to their workplace as a result. We have to ensure the safety of government premises and restore their operation.


From yesterday afternoon and throughout the night, conflicts erupted among people for and against the Occupy Central movement in Mong Kok, causing much chaos and leaving many injured, including reporters.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government strongly condemns all violent acts. The situation may probably evolve into a state beyond control, and will have serious consequences to public safety and social order.


In the past few days, the Government has repeatedly appealed to protesters assembled at various locations to disperse peacefully as soon as possible. Stern warnings have also been made to protesters outside the CGO, urging them not to block access to the premises.


Both the Government and society hope that:

(1) all citizens, including those for and against the Occupy Central movement, stay calm. There should absolutely be no violence; and,

(2) public order should be restored as soon as possible to allow people to return to normal life.


The most pressing task for the Government is to reopen access to CGO on Monday so 3,000 CGO staff can return to their workplace and continue to provide services to the public.


This is in addition to preventing conflict from taking place in Mong Kok and other districts. There should be no more blocking of carriageways in Wan Chai and Central & Western districts so classes can resume on Monday.


There are many social issues to resolve in the community. But the proper way to do this is through rational dialogue. We need to work out a consensus while accommodating differences, and should not aggravate the problem with street protests.


I hope the organisers and participants of Occupy Central will, in the overall interest of all, put an end to their on-street gatherings.


The Government and the Police have the duty and determination to take all necessary actions to restore social order so the Government and the seven million people of Hong Kong can return to their normal work and life.


This is a translation of a video statement given by Chief Executive CY Leung on October 4.