Student localist groups warn against suppression of Hong Kong independence debate in schools

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, September 8: More than 20 student localist groups have warned of escalation in actions if Hong Kong independence debate continues to remain suppressed in Schools.

The groups made the revelation in a joint statement released by the representatives of the student localist concern groups coalition at a press conference on Tuesday and stopped short of specifying the nature of their action, reports, Sept 8.

Student localist concern groups coalition representatives at press conference. Photo: Apple Daily
Student localist concern groups coalition representatives at press conference. Photo: Apple Daily

In their statement, the groups expressed regret over the range of suppression experienced by students promoting Hong Kong independence in and around the school and further urged schools to stand on the same side as students, and put an end to the encroachment on students’ freedom to hand out flyers and accept interviews, the report added.

“Further suppression will not silence us, but instead will lead to the rise of more localist concern groups among schools,” the student coalition groups’ statement concluded.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim, have repeatedly warned that promoting separatism (independence debate) violates the Basic Law and should not be allowed on school campuses.

A student from T.W.G.Hs. Kap Yan Directors’ College, who was set to attend the press conference, the report said, was forced into not doing so as his teachers had repeatedly summoned him.

Certain cases of secondary school students being prevented from handing out material that promotes Hong Kong independence from China were also being reported.

Students from localist concern group were often ridiculed and harassed by fellow students on Facebook, the report cited a student from Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity as saying.

Putting some weight behind the Student localist groups’ campaign, Former Education Secretary, Michael Suen Ming-yeung, in his column published in the Chinese-language newspaper AM730 on Wednesday said, “Hong Kong independence as a topic for discussion does not need to be banned.”