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Hong Kong riot police fire warning shots in bloody street clashes

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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Hong Kong riot police fire warning shots in bloody street clashes
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: Hong Kong riot police fired warning shots on Tuesday during clashes that erupted in the Chinese-ruled city when authorities tried to remove illegal street stalls set up for Lunar New Year celebrations, the worst violence since pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Demonstrators prised bricks from the sidewalk to hurl at police, while others toppled street signs and set fire to rubbish bins in Mong Kok, a tough, working-class neighborhood just across the harbor from the heart of the Asian financial center.

“We have noticed a shift in some members of the public,” said Hong Kong Police Commissioner Lo Wai-chung. “(They) have an inclination to use violence or radical acts in order to express their opinion.”

Nearly 90 police sustained injuries ranging from fractured bones to lacerations and bruises and 54 protesters were arrested, Lo said. Hong Kong television showed police officers being beaten with poles and sticks as they lay on the ground.

Many protesters and police were also shown with blood streaming down their faces.

Police said two warning shots were fired into the air, with pepper spray and batons also used to disperse the crowd. Television footage showed the shots were fired as protesters surrounded traffic police, pelting them with rubbish, bricks and bottles and wrestling one of them to the ground.

Lo said the life of the officer who fired the shots was being threatened. He also said there would be a full investigation into the incident.

The remains of burned bins and flower pots, chunks of brick and broken bottles lay scattered along the Nathan Road shopping strip, which leads to the harbor at Tsim Sha Tsui. A taxi with shattered windows was parked nearby.

The narrow streets in and around Mong Kok were the scene of some of the most violent clashes during protests in late 2014 to demand greater democracy for the former British colony that returned to Beijing rule in 1997.

The violence broke out after police moved in to clear illegal vendors who sell local delicacies, trinkets and household goods from makeshift streetside stalls.

The hawkers, a common sight on Hong Kong’s bustling streets, quickly attracted a strong social media following under the hashtag #FishballRevolution.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government strongly condemned the violence. Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said police were investigating indications the clashes had been organized.

The protesters had dispersed by 8 a.m. (7.00 p.m. ET on Monday) but more than 100 had confronted police in a tense, pre-dawn stand-off during the Lunar New Year holiday, when most of the city is shut down.

Police said they did not expect another riot on Tuesday night, when new year fireworks are planned over the harbor, but they were boosting manpower nonetheless.

Hong Kong Indigenous, a “localist” group that is fielding a candidate in a Legislative Council by-election in a few weeks, was involved in the protest, though it was not immediately clear the role it played or the extent to which it was involved.

The group said on its official Facebook page and confirmed to Reuters that its candidate, Edward Leung Tin-kei, had been arrested.

Many so-called localists remain deeply embittered by the lack of any concessions from Beijing or Hong Kong authorities during the 2014 protests. Television footage showed protesters on Tuesday shouting: “Establish a Hong Kong country!” during running battles with police.

The clashes in December 2014 came when authorities cleared the last of pro-democracy demonstrators from the streets after more than two months of protests that had presented Beijing with one of its greatest political challenges in decades.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death

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Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: The King and Queen of Thailand greet the King and Queen of England

The leaders of Thailand have sent messages of condolences to their British counterparts following the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has sent a message of condolence to Prince Philip’s widow, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, released by the Thai Royal Household Bureau, stating that the King and Queen are deeply saddened by Prince Philip’s death.

“We all in Thailand join the people of Great Britain in mourning this great loss, a sense of loss being shared by peoples around the world, whose lives have been touched and enriched by His Royal Highness’ enduring legacies in their diversity.

We still recall, with much pride and warmth, the two historic state visits made by Your Majesty in 1972 and 1996, with His Royal Highness at your side, as guests of my beloved father, His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Just as important to the people of Thailand was how His Royal Highness wished, during his later visits on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund, to share with them his love of nature and passion for the environment, thus inspiring a number of essential projects of conservation.

May I, on behalf of the people of Thailand, express to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the British people our heartfelt sympathy and condolences for this truly grievous loss.”

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha released a statement on behalf of the people of Thailand, saying their thoughts and prayers were with the people of Britain. PM Prayut sent a message to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praising Prince Philip’s “exceptional leadership”.

“On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand, I wish to extend to Your Right Honourable and the British people our deepest condolences and sympathy for this irreparable loss. We join the British people in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the British people in this time of sadness”

Prince Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died Friday at the age of 99 after recently being released from King Edward VII Hospital recovering from a February surgery for a heart condition. He was the longest-serving consort in British history. The Duke of Edinburgh had visited Thailand twice, escorting the Queen for state visits with King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1972 and 1996.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World & Thai Examiner

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | Thaiger

Prince Philip, the husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in the history of the United Kingdom, retiring in 2017 after more than 20,000 public engagements. Born on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip had 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren with the Queen. Buckingham Palace released a statement mourning the loss.

Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921 on the island of Corfu, Greece. He married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

 

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace | Thaiger

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, has died at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace announced his death in the last hour.

Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947, 5 years before she became Queen. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

The couple had 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

SOURCE: BBC

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