Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two Excellent Articles & One Moving Video Clip re: Umbrella Movement

Here are links to two elucidating and insightful articles re: Umbrella Movement:-

The Hong Kong Protests Are a Triumph of Order over Chaos

Occupying Identity?

I wish Beijing leaders have a chance to read the above two articles.

The following is a Youtube video clip entitled "Beauty of Hong Kong Protests" created by a 16-year old local resident named Markian, with the song "Imagine" as background music:-

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one!"

A nation that has lost the power of imagination is a tragic nation indeed! China should be proud of Hong Kong students for their creative thoughts and actions and stop smearing their honest and righteous motives.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review - "An Officer and a Spy" by Robert Harris

This is one of the best novels I've read this year. Towards the end, I literally had to force myself to slow down so that I could savor the suspense in small doses!

I'm not going to write a long review for this tantalizing historical thriller. Suffice it to say that the novel is based on an ignominious military cover-up and miscarriage of justice in late 19th century France that brought the country to the edge of great internal conflict, almost crashing its judicial system in the process. For his determination to fight the dark forces, Army officer Georges Picquart lost his reputation, his career, his colleagues and his peace of mind, but luckily never his spirit. Venerable French novelist Emile Zola was charged with libel (and might have been murdered) for standing on the side of Picquart and justice.

What makes Picquart's and Zola's feat of taking on the nation's Army a mission impossible can be found in this speech by the French President:

"The army is the nation's heart and soul, the mirror in which France perceives the most ideal image of her self-denial and patriotism; the army holds the first place in the thoughts of the government and in the pride of the country."

It is stated in the Author's Note: "None of the characters in the pages that follow, not even the most minor, is wholly fictional, and almost all of what occurs, at least in some form, actually happened in real life."

Need I say more to persuade you to read the novel, if you haven’t already read it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Audrey Eu's Comment on HKFS/SAR Govt. Talk on Oct. 21, 2014

Audrey Eu (former Legislator and former leader of the Civic Party): "If Hong Kong officials are half as wise and capable as the students, Hong Kong will be saved."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Rule of Law" Against "Rule by Law"

In the pre-dawn hours of October 18, 2014, the Hong Kong police, having earlier cleared road obstacles in the Mongkok area and having narrowed down the protest area to the southern part of Nathan Road  (but almost immediately protesters replaced and reinforced the road blocks), began a violent attack on unarmed and peaceful protesters. They charged into the crowd wielding batons indiscriminately on the protesters, while shouting on loudspeakers: "Stop using violence!". It is clear from various video clips that protesters had never charged at the police nor had acted violently, and they had nothing but umbrellas, goggles and masks for self-protection. A number of protesters got beaten on the head and bled profusely. Obviously, this sudden use of violence by the police without pre-warning has done nothing but stir more people to come out to occupy the streets. All this happened right on the heel of C.Y. Leung's government having consented to hold talks with representatives of the Hong Kong Federation of Students on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Such incoherent action on the part of the SAR government is considered by the students and protesters to be serving no constructive purpose in the way of resolving the stalemate between government and the protesters.

Rumor has it that the handling of the street protests are being directly controlled by Chinese senior officials who are gathered at a luxury villa in Shenzhen for the purpose, and that Hong Kong officials travel frequently to Shenzhen to obtain instructions.

It is plain that the deepening clash is actually rooted in the fundamental difference in views about the spirit of law held by the pro-democracy camp (in fact most Hong Kongers) and the pro-government camp (including the Beijing and SAR governments). The SAR/Beijing governments regard "依法施政" (which can be interpreted as "Rule by Law") as their sacrosanct right and entitlement with no room for compromise. Once the governments determine a public act as illegal, they automatically have the inviolable right to put a stop to it even if it means resorting to excessive force and violence and ignoring citizens' basic rights. On the other hand, Hong Kongers are used to the concept of "Rule of Law" and universal values like human rights and freedoms (which are in fact protected under the Basic Law). "Rule of law" can be interpreted as "依法限權" (thanks to Legislator Dennis Kwok for this innovative and apt interpretation), meaning that the spirit of law demands self-restraint on the part of those holding power (such as a government), allowing an independent judiciary to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens. A shining example of the rule of law in practice is that Joshua Wong, who had been arrested on some unsustainable charges, was released within forty-eight hours by virtue of a court decision and order.

It is a shame and a pity that the C.Y. Leung government (in particular C. Y. Leung himself, the Chief Police Commissioner and the Chief of Security) have been trying their best to erode the spirit of Rule of Law and to make the police force a political tool for suppression of dissidents in a manner similar to that in Mainland China. The threesome have repeatedly and unilaterally labeled the Umbrella Movement as illegal and using that label as an excuse to repeatedly use excessive force and violence on peaceful protesters. There has been a case of a blatant abuse of power by seven policemen who were caught on camera brutally kicking and punching a handcuffed protester. Moreover, under the dishonorable leadership of the aforementioned threesome, citizens and policemen are being catapulted against each other in mounting distrust.

Protesters must remember to stay peaceful, keep calm and refrain from provoking the police, while the police must try to understand the Umbrella Movement only symbolizes citizens' peaceful demand for the right to choose and nominate the next Chief Executive. All Hong Kongers should unite and guard against the gradual erosion of the "Rule of Law", a most cherished core value, without which Hong Kong is not Hong Kong.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Open Letter to Xi Jinping from the Hong Kong Students

Here's the link to the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) webpage showing the English version of an open letter addressed to Xi Jinping from HKFS and Scholarism:-

An Open Letter dated 11th October, 2014

I can see the great effort that the students have made in their attempt to allay fears that Chinese leaders may have been harboring about Hong Kong trying to organize a color revolution, which has never been the case in the first place. Therefore great emphasis has been placed on the motto "the issue of politics to be resolved by politics" ("政治問題政治解决"), implying that this should not be mistaken for an attempt to slight China's sovereign power over Hong Kong. Also, the letter stresses that the proposed political reform, being a Hong Kong problem, should best be resolved within Hong Kong, meaning that Hong Kong people's wishes must be taken into account if only out of respect for the "one country, two systems" framework.

The crux of the letter is naturally to lay blame where it is justifiably due - on C. Y. Leung.

Perhaps one can say that the translation (or the original) of the letter could have been improved on, but the students' selfless sincerity and courage of conviction of ideals that pervades throughout cannot be denied and more than makes up for the literary imperfection.