The government said on Friday that it is closely monitoring people who are advocating independence for Hong Kong, to determine whether any action needs to be taken.
The Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, told a meeting of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee that calls for independence are completely in violation of the Basic Law.
However Yuen stressed that the authorities will only take action if there’s a possibility that that a crime will be committed, saying that a breach of the Basic Law is not the same as a violation of criminal law.
That said, he stressed that law enforcement agencies must be allowed to collect evidence and conduct investigations.
Yuen also warned that there’s a limit to freedom of expression. “One cannot use freedom of speech as a shield to defend suggestions that are contrary to the fundamental principles expound in the Basic Law,” he said.
The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, also said any promotion of independence for Hong Kong is a clear violation of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle that must be condemned.
The debate over the issue was sparked by the establishment of a radical party earlier this week. The Hong Kong National Party aims to transform Hong Kong into an independent republic, and said it would not recognise the Basic Law.
Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office has called the party a threat to national security.
But pan-democratic lawmakers warned that it would be a mistake to criminalise peoples’ beliefs.
Civic Party councillor Dennis Kwok, who represents the legal sector, questioned, “are we saying that their beliefs are so radical and so unacceptable that we should criminalise what they’re doing? I don’t believe that is in line with our constitution.”
Former security secretary, and New People’s Party chairperson Regina Ip, however, said this is not simply a matter of freedom of expression.
“This is not just talking about Hong Kong independence,” she said. “This is setting up a political party; and we all know political parties have objectives; have agendas, have action plans… to recruit supporters and to implement the agendas.” Ip said it’s a matter for concern because the party may have concrete action plans.
In a move aimed at sparing its students and faculty embarrassment, a Japanese private university on Friday ditched its distracting former English name for a more benign moniker.
With the new academic year starting the same day, the former Kinki University in Osaka Prefecture became Kindai University, with the school holding a ceremony to unveil a new English nameplate at one of its gates. School athletes wearing uniforms bearing the new name attended the ceremony.
The name-change decision was made two years ago. As the university had been placing greater emphasis on foreign languages and international studies, it believed the previous English name, pronounced identically to “kinky,” may have been off-putting to foreign students.
University President Hitoshi Shiozaki said at the time, “I did not feel good about the giggles which were caused when introducing myself at academic meetings abroad.”
“Kindai” is an abbreviation of the university’s Japanese name, “Kinki Daigaku,” which remains unchanged.
Mei Ichinose, a 19-year-old student whose father is British, welcomed the new name saying, “My (paternal) grandmother gave me a bewildered look when I told her Kinki University.”
President Shiozaki said during the ceremony that with the new name, Kindai will “keep plugging away to become more globalized.”
According to the university, “Kinki” derives from “Kinai,” which referred to a large administrative district in western Japan dating back to the 7th century, roughly corresponding to parts of the current Nara, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.
“Kinki” means “the capital and surrounding areas.”
A new poll revealed that about a third of some one-thousand people surveyed plan to vote for a candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party at the upcoming general elections.
Polling agency Gallup Korea carried out the survey on one-thousand-two adults across the nation between Tuesday and Thursday.
Twenty-one percent of the respondents selected the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, while eight percent chose the People’s Party and three percent checked off the Justice Party.
The polling agency was quick to stress, however, that there is a big possibility that the figures will change as the number of candidates that each party has running in electoral districts is different and as some regions could witness unified opposition candidates.
The survey had a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus three-point-one percentage points.
Let’s review the facts of Corey Lewandowski-Michelle Fields dust up, shall we?
She wears high heels when she goes out reporting. And has fallen down before when she was covering Occupy Wall Street. Maybe she falls down a lot? Don’t know. Maybe she does it to get attention.
But I do find it odd that she says she’s never tried to make herself the story. That’s precisely what she always tries to do.
Here are some questions I have as she gets her media moment.
Why did Fields not ask a question of Trump at his forty-minute press conference?
Why was she waiting in an area that Secret Service was already clearing?
Why did Fields who did not see who tugged her arm ask Lewandowski if he was in the fact the person who tugged her arm?
Why did she not speak to a superior about the alleged incident instead of a speaking to a hostile news outlet and a romantic interest right away?
Why was her boyfriend (and Marco Rubio supporter from Florida) Jamie Weinstein the first person to tweet about the alleged incident? Was Jamie present?
And why did he call Trump’s people “thugs”? Doesn’t he know that’s a racial slur? Tsk, tsk, Jamie!
Why does no video of this alleged incident exist? A room full of reporters and police and secret service and no one takes a video or even a picture?
Why didn’t she file a police report if it was “battery”? Why didn’t this Fields approach the police after the incident if it was in fact assault? (Seems like a fake rape style incident to me!)
Why is the alleged incident being used as a setup to attack a candidate at tonight’s debate?
Why did she wait so long to release a photo of the bruise? And why hasn’t it been submitted to the police?
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), whose stated mission is “to enable Canadians of all backgrounds to promote justice, development and peace in the Middle East, and here at home in Canada” lists as one of its goals the development of “credible and professional information resources useful to CJPME’s audience, constituency, and collaborators.”
How credible is CJPME?
CJPME Factsheet 186, published in September of 2014 provides an overview of Hamas -its emergence, its goals, and the source for its popular support.
Nowhere in the Factsheet does CJPME mention that Hamas, together with its military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and several charities it runs, have been designated by Canada, the European Union, United States, Israel, Egypt, Australia and the UK as a terrorist organization.
CJPME Factsheet: “Hamas is using sporadic indiscriminate rocket-fire, generally non-lethal, to retaliate against Israeli abuses.”
FACT: Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets and mortars into Israel – from mosques, school, hospitals and other civilian areas – causing 33 deaths and over 1,900 injuries, which both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said amounts to war crimes.
CJPME: Since 2004, many Hamas leaders have repeatedly offered to accept a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict based on the pre-1967 borders.
FACT: In an interview with Al-Aqsa on March 6, 2014, Dr. Yunis al-Astal, a senior Hamas figure and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament justified carrying out genocide against the Jews when he said: “What is the solution for this gang of people?…We must slaughter them, so as to break them and prevent them from spreading corruption in the world….We must return them to the situation where they are subjected to humiliation. They must be dhimmi [tolerated but with an inferior status] residents. This status must be imposed on them through war. They must pay the jizya security tax when they live among us….However, in Palestine, where they are occupiers and invaders, they cannot enjoy the status of dhimmis.”
FACT: On May 15, 2015, in a press statement on the 67th anniversary of Nakba, Hamas reaffirmed a set of national constants, which included, among others, “Resistance is the only way to achieve our national goals, the absurd negotiations are the way of weak people. The right of return is inalienable and scared.”
FACT: On November 2, 2015, Hamas issued a press release titled “Armed resistance a strategic choice against occupation” which explicitly stated that “the Palestinian people will never give up their rightful claim to the land of Palestine” and stressed the importance of backing the Jerusalem’s intifada.
FACT: On December 14, 2015, Hamas issued a press statement on Hamas’s 28th Anniversary which explicitly stated that “Hamas will never recognize the Israeli occupation, and confirms that Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean is an Arab, Islamic country” and reaffirmed that “The right of return is a sacred, nonnegotiable individual and collective right.”
CJPME Factsheet: 2006: Hamas drops its call for the destruction of Israel from its electoral platform
FACT: In 2012, top Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk, trying to market Hamas as pragmatic, told The Jewish Daily Forward that Hamas would agree to a cease-fire (hudna) with Israel. On the other hand, he emphasized that Hamas categorically objects to recognizing Israel and normalizing relations with it; would not permit the Palestinian Authority to sign a peace treaty based on the recognition of Israel;
did not intend to abandon the path of “resistance” [i.e., terrorism]; insisted on the realization of the so-called “right of return” of the Palestinian refugees living outside “Palestine”.
FACT: In December, 2014, Khalil al-Hayaa, a top Hamas leader, said: “This illusion called Israel will be removed. It will be removed at the hands of the Qassam Brigades”.
FACT: In a speech from Damascus, Meshaal said: “We will not accept a permanent truce, because it will take the right of resistance from the Palestinian people. The resistance is against occupation and military campaigns and therefore as long as occupation exists, resistance will too…”
FACT: In a speech in Gaza in 2012, Meshaal said: “Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it.” “Resistance (i.e. terrorism) is the right way to recover our rights, as well as all forms of struggle – political, diplomatic, legal and popular, but all are senseless without resistance.”
FACT: In an interview with Al-Rai radio in November 2013, official Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida (full name is Hudayfa Samir Abdullah al-Kahlout) said that the ultimate goal of the Palestinian struggle is the conquest of the cities of Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Ramle, and Beersheba – in other words, the eradication of Israel
FACT: In May 2014, Al-Qassam Brigades posted a video calling on the Jews in Palestine to hurry and leave, warning that if they did not do so their fate would be death, as decreed by Hamas.
CJPME Factsheet: Hamas greatly reduces suicide bombings in 2003, and in 2005 halts the practice.
FACT: CJPME makes it sound as though Hamas halted suicide bombings of its own volition. However, according to available statistics, the reduction in suicide bombings is directly attributable to the construction of the security fence, which proved to be highly effective measure for reducing terror attacks.
In conclusion, the credibility of any human rights organization must be based on accuracy, honesty, reliability and impartiality. This is particularly relevant with respect to the functioning of CJPME, whose stated goal is to be the “go to” organization for politicians, policymakers and the media and the development of “credible and professional information resources useful to CJPME’s audience, constituency, and collaborators.”
An organization which, whether intentionally or unintentionally, omits key facts about Hamas, including information which is readily available on Hamas’ own English-language website cannot claim to have any credibility whatsoever and should certainly never be relied on by anyone except agenda-driven hardened anti-Israel activists.