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Saturday, April 2, 2016, 11:17

Top officials denounce new separatist group in HK

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong

Top officials denounce new separatist group in HK
People hold the Chinese national and Hong Kong SAR regional flags as they take part in a pro-government rally in Hong Kong on Aug 17, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE)

Hong Kong’s senior officials have added their voices to a growing chorus denouncing the formation of an organization with the explicit intention of demanding the city’s separation from the nation.

Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Friday that the formation of a separatist “party” was unconstitutional. She stressed that it was a clear violation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.

Hours later, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said the Department of Justice would closely monitor the situation. He added that it would be up to the police to decide whether or not to investigate and take action.

Yuen said the spokesperson for the “Hong Kong National Party” clearly stated they might undertake other activities in future. This clearly necessitated the need for them to be closely monitored, he added.

Yuen was referring to a spokesman for the separatist “party” — which has openly denounced the Basic Law. The spokesman said they would take more action to fight for Hong Kong’s independence.

However, the Company Registry has refused to register this “party”.

The group’s spokesman and another member, when asked what they would do if they got elected to the city’s legislature, said they would use tear gas to express their objections or even beat up lawmakers for passing funding proposals which the group opposes. They made the comments in an interview with online radio on Tuesday, just one day after announcement of the group’s formation.

Yuen said this issue was not about freedom of speech — which he explained was not without limits. Yuen said advocating independence was irresponsible as it contravened Article 1 and 12 of the Basic Law.

"One cannot use freedom of speech as a shield to defend suggestions which are contrary to the fundamental principles expounded in the Basic Law,” said Yuen. He said people should not confuse freedom of expression with ideas which blatantly contradict the Basic Law.

Lawmaker and former secretary for security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said the continued operations of the “Hong Kong National Party” were illegal. This was because its application to obtain company registration had been refused.

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