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Occupy Central has entered its third week. Illegal rallies such as those in Mongkok have since deteriorated into violent skirmishes aimed at undermining the police’s authority. These events are completely unacceptable and at odds with Hong Kong’s core values of peace and judiciousness. The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) strongly condemns all malicious acts that are intended to create civil disorder and expresses unswerving support to the police in upholding the rule of law for the resumption of social order.
The more than twenty days of illegal assemblies have already adversely affected the economy and livelihoods of Hong Kong citizens particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) located in the occupied areas. The BPA has received many complaints from SMEs about the negative impacts the Occupy movement has had on their businesses and cash flow. If the civil disobedience campaign were to persist, this could jeopardise SMEs’ ability to pay rent and salaries in a timely manner, which in the case of the latter could affect employees as well. At the same time, the hostilities have severely inconvenienced residents living nearby in terms of impeded access and increased noise nuisance until the late hours.
The BPA urges government and the Hong Kong Federation of Students to treasure the opportunity of holding a dialogue tomorrow and to do so under the principles of mutual respect and respect for the law. We earnestly hope that this meeting can have the positive effect of easing tensions and to restore social order. To avoid further turmoil and disruption, the BPA urges all parties to give priority to their personal safety by withdrawing from the occupied areas as soon as possible and to distance themselves from those that are intent on creating public disorder by provoking and clashing with the police while inciting others to do so at the same time.
The Central Government has restated that, under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, political development in Hong Kong is China’s internal affairs. As such, the BPA categorically opposes any form of foreign intervention. Hong Kong is a civil society that has previously witnessed the organisation of numerous protests, all of which that have been conducted and concluded peacefully. The BPA, therefore, appeals most sincerely to protesters to preserve this honourable tradition by foregoing any actions that would bring irreparable harm to the foundation of law and order in Hong Kong. We hope that tomorrow’s dialogue can enhance mutual understanding, rebuild rational and pragmatic communication, reduce antagonism, and promote reconciliation.