External forces inciting protests: Hong Kong leader
Pro-democracy protesters on Sunday accused police of using excessive force against them after violent clashes in Hong Kong, as a senior politician said weeks of rallies have reached a 'critical moment'.world Updated: Oct 20, 2014 17:45 IST
Hong Kong’s top government official CY Leung has said that external forces were inciting the ongoing pro-democracy protests in the city even as his government prepares for talks with student representatives on Tuesday.
The ongoing protests, which have now entered its fourth week, have paralysed parts of the financial hub for more than three weeks now with the participants demanding a free and fair election in 2017 and Leung’s resignation.
Though the numbers of protesters have dwindled in the past week, many are still camped at key locations in the city.
The weekend was marred by clashes between the agitators and police personnel with the latter removing barricades from locations to clear way for traffic.
Beijing has fully backed the embattled Leung and has repeatedly warned that no country should interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.
Leung’s statement to a television station about outside forces working in Hong Kong was on similar lines.
“There is obviously participation by people, organisations from outside of Hong Kong, in politics in Hong Kong, over a long time. This is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either,” Leung said.
Leung, however, did not name any country or organisation which could be involved.
Protesters have denied Leung’s claim.
Student activist Alex Chow told the BCC that the leader's comments were “irresponsible”, adding that he did not provide any evidence to support his claim.
Police in Hong Kong were not ruling out clearing protests sites in Mong Kok locality, Hong Kong police spokesperson Hui Chun-Tak was quoted as saying by the state media.
“Police will continue to monitor the developments and make suitable assessments and we will decide when to take action based on the actual circumstances,” the officer said.
Protesters had clashed with the police in the area over the weekend.
Tuesday’s talks are not expected to end the protests and the sense of impasse as the Hong Kong government is unlikely to meet any of the primary demands of the Occupy Central members.