Rebel Hong Kong law­mak­ers chal­lenge China in par­lia­ment

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HONG Kong rebel law­mak­ers swore, shouted, banged drums and railed against “tyranny” yes­ter­day when they took their oaths of of­fice in the city’s par­lia­ment, as calls grow for a split from Bei­jing.

The chaotic first meet­ing of the new term of the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil (Legco) came after a vote last month saw vic­to­ries for sev­eral law­mak­ers ad­vo­cat­ing more au­ton­omy or even in­de­pen­dence for Hong Kong.

The city is semi-au­ton­o­mous un­der a “one coun­try, two sys­tems” deal sealed when Bri­tain re­turned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

The ar­range­ment pro­tects Hong Kong’s free­doms for 50 years, but there are in­creas­ing con­cerns those lib­er­ties are dis­ap­pear­ing as Bei­jing tight­ens its grip.

Law­mak­ers are re­quired to re­cite a short oath in Legco be­fore they can of­fi­cially take up their seats.

That oath de­clares re­peat­edly that Hong Kong is a “spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion” of China.

The gov­ern­ment had warned law­mak­ers in ad­vance they risked los­ing their seats if they did not take the oath prop­erly.

Nathan Law, 23, Legco’s youngest law­maker and a pro-democ­racy protest leader, de­liv­ered an im­pas­sioned speech ahead of tak­ing the oath.

“You can chain me, you can tor­ture me, you can even de­stroy this body – but you can never im­prison my mind,” he said, quot­ing In­dia’s in­de­pen­dence leader Ma­hatma Gandhi.

Two new pro-in­de­pen­dence law­mak­ers, Bag­gio Le­ung and Yau Waich­ing, added their own words be­fore the oath, pledg­ing to serve the “Hong Kong na­tion”. –

Newly elected law­maker Nathan Law (right) speaks de­spite the mi­cro­phone be­ing turned off after he took the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil Oath at the first meet­ing of the Sixth Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil (Legco) in Hong Kong yes­ter­day.

Photo: AFP

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