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Chinese Coast Guard nabs fleeing Hong Kong activists

Jack Burton

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Chinese Coast Guard nabs fleeing Hong Kong activists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chris Tang, Hong Kong's Commissioner of Police, addresses a news conference in the territory on Tuesday - worldnewj.com
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Chinese authorities have captured and arrested around a dozen Hong Kong activists from Hong Kong who were attempting to leave the former British colony by speedboat. The incident shows the intensification of Beijing’s campaign to seek out protest leaders and those resisting the Communist Party’s tightening grip there. The arrests, made last. Sunday, are the first confirmed case of such activists being caught by Chinese authorities at sea.

At least 1 of the people onboard was an activist being investigated under the city’s new national security law, according to a source familiar with the incident. A second source said the group was trying to flee to Taiwan. Over the past year, more than 200 Hong Kong protesters and activists have sought refuge there.

The efforts to flee Hong Kong highlight the anxiety among activists as the Communist Party tightens its grip over the previously semiautonomous territory. Beijing imposed a sweeping security law on June 30 that punishes political crimes such as subversion with potentially lenghty prison sentences.

China’s Coast Guard confirmed Wednesday that it stopped a speedboat about 45 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong Island on August 24. Officers detained “more than 10 people” suspected of illegally crossing the border, it said on its official social media page, without providing further details.

Among the people captured is Andy Li, a Hong Kong activist who helped organise a group of independent poll monitors from overseas for local elections last year. He had also travelled to Geneva and the United States to promote Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

Li was arrested in Hong Kong on August 10 as part of a broad police sweep that included Jimmy Lai, the prominent founder of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Li was later released on bail.

It was not immediately clear if Li and the others detained will face immigration charges in Guangdong province or be directly deported to Hong Kong.

The activists’ attempts to flee the city have, for many, evoked the memory of efforts to spirit dissidents out of China after the military’s deadly crackdown on protesters around Beijiing’s Tiananmen Square in in 1989. During the 1911 National Revolution and 1949’s Communist Revolution, as well as tumultuous earlier periods in China’s history, refugees escaped into Hong Kong through similarly dangerous routes.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Reuters

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Phat-thai

    September 1, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Tinge of bias and propaganda. why do you have to use the phrase “communist party” which sound odd. why can’t you just be normal and natural and say Chinese authority.
    You will not say Trump or US democratic republican party. Doesn’t that sounds odd.
    So in Western eyes Communist is bad and democracy is good. This is the kind of propaganda the west have being using in their media to deceive the world for more than 6 decades.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      September 3, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Because the Chinese Communist Party is not normal, and you are a Chinese Communist propaganda stooge.
      Communism has always been bad, read some history about the mass genocide and economic destruction caused by it.

      The Communist party is not China, it’s just a bunch of fascist gangsters bullying people into submission.
      The Republic of China could be called the Chinese authorities.

      Nobody believes Chinese Communist party lies.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

100,000 iLaw bill signatures to be verified, official tells staff to ‘hurry up’

Caitlin Ashworth

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100,000 iLaw bill signatures to be verified, official tells staff to ‘hurry up’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

The parliament president says he told staff to “hurry up” the process for verifying more than 100,000 signatures supporting a new constitution amendment bill proposed by a nonprofit organisation and backed by pro-democracy activists. Activists hope the process speeds up so the bill can be scheduled on the agenda for the next parliamentary session.

The draft, proposed by Internet Law Reform Dialogue, or iLaw, was sent to parliament last week along with signatures from more than 100,000 supporters. Parliament president Chuan Leekpai says staff are working on getting all of the signatures verified and even asked staff to “hurry up.” He says they have 45 days to verify the signatures. 50,000 valid signatures are required to have the draft considered by parliament.

The activists have been demanding a rewrite of the 2017 constitution for months.One of the proposed changes would require senators and local administrators. Currently, Thailand’s Senate is hand-picked by the ruling party.

Those opposing changes to the constitution also spoke up last week. A Thai Pakdee royalist group filed a petition with 130,000 signatures saying they are against changes.

Verifying the names is a lengthy process and Chuan doesn’t know exactly how long it will take. Half of the names on the iLaw bill have received initial verification, according to parliament advisor Sukit Atthopakorn.

After initial verification, the approved names are then forwarded to the Department of Provincial Administration to make sure they are eligible voters. The last step would calling each person to confirm they signed their name in support of the bill.

6 other amendment bills introduced by other political parties are already being discussed and a committee has been step up to review the bills, according to Democrat Party spokesperson Rames Ratanachaweng. He says those discussions won’t affect the iLaw bill.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post| Nation Thailand

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Politics

PM dismisses rumours of alliance with opposition to form new government

Maya Taylor

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PM dismisses rumours of alliance with opposition to form new government | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.thailandnews.co

Thai PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha has rubbished rumours that the ruling coalition parties plan to join forces with the opposition Pheu Thai party to form a new government. While the PM initially didn’t respond to the question, instead bidding reporters a good day and walking away, he did mumble that he had enough of a headache with just one party.

Thai PBS World reports that Deputy PM, Prawit Wongsuwan, also dismissed the question, accusing the media of being behind the speculation, as he pointed a finger at reporters gathered at Government House.

“You go and ask the one who spread the rumour.”

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda has dismissed rumours he’s planning to set up a political party with the PM and interior Permanent Secretary, Chatchai Promlert. Anupong says he’s no political expert and has never considered creating a political party.

Since July, anti-government protests have been taking place around the country, with activists calling for the PM’s resignation, the dissolution of Parliament, and for fresh elections to be held.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Majority in survey say now is the time to share ideas to solve conflicts

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Majority in survey say now is the time to share ideas to solve conflicts | The Thaiger

A majority of those surveyed in a recent Suan Dusit Rajabhat University poll say now is the time to work together to solve the conflicts that are plaguing the country. The poll, known as the Suan Dusit Poll, was conducted online from September 23-25, asked for opinions on the long-standing conflicts in Thailand.

1,263 online netizens responded with a large majority-almost 92% saying now is the time for all who are concerned to come together to brainstorm ideas on how to resolve the conflicts. The rest of the respondents, around 8%, said other things. Each respondent was given more than one allowed answer when asked for suggestions of how to fix the issues with almost 89% saying the government should be open to all opinions. Almost 88% said there should not be any violence, 82% said no double-standards, 74% said forums should be held nationwide to allow opinions, and 69% wanted the parties involved in the conflicts to take a step backward.

However, the question of who should lead the country in resolving these issues was split closely between pollsters wanting core members and representatives of different groups, the prime minister, and the people. Only around 13% pointed towards the government sector as taking the lead and lastly, around 9% pointing to the students and youth.

A majority of respondents, about 75%, agree that the brainstorming would be successful with almost 25% saying it would be unlikely to be successful. Such a poll comes after major anti-government student protests at Bangkok’s Thammasat University have rocked the nation, with some saying, for the first time, the rallies have thwarted the Lese Majeste laws in place that have historically put a muzzle on free speech and criticisms of the monarchy and King. Such protests have led to the arrestsof those leading the movement especially after a plaque was placedat the Grand Palace declaring that “Thailand belongs to the people.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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