Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after attending the Fine Art Asia 2014 opening ceremony this evening (October 3):
Reporter: Mrs Lam, one English question please. When do the talks take place between the protesters and the Government, I mean the students and the Government, and how do you see the clashes going on at the moment? At the moment there is some serious confrontation going on in Mong Kok between people holding different views. How concerned about ...?
Chief Secretary for Administration: Thank you for the question. I am indeed very concerned about the clashes that we have seen in Mong Kok. I think these protests on the streets have a great vulnerability to turn into physical violence between the protesters and the anti-protesters. Of course, I do not want to second judge the motive of the anti-protesters people in Mong Kok, but one would imagine that with a prolonged period of disruption to traffic, road blockages and also inconvenience to a lot of people, sentiments are running high and there is this high chance of conflicts taking place on our streets. And that's why I make this strong urgent appeal that protesters who have been occupying different parts of the territory should seriously consider retreating from the scene so that law and order as well as normal activities in society could be restored.
Reporter: What about the talks?
Chief Secretary for Administration: I was about to come to your first question. Since announcement by the Chief Executive that I have been tasked to meet with the students from the Hong Kong Federation of Students, we have already got in touch with what I would describe as a third party, people who are familiar and very close to the students of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, to try to fix up the meeting as soon as possible. We have made some preliminary proposals about the timing, the venue, the logistics and also the officials who will be attending this meeting, and I hope that we will be getting a response very shortly because I understand that the earlier that we could have this dialogue, the better that we will be able to manage these protests.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, October 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:19