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How civil servants defraud FG through allowances

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How civil servants defraud FG through allowances
  • Commission: We’ve saved over N400bn from DTA fraud, others

 

The National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) said it had saved the Federal Government over N400 billion by stopping Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) fraud and other illegal allowances in public institutions.

Chairman of NSIWC, Chief Richard Egbule, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, revealed how civil servants defraud Federal Government through allowances.

Egbule said many government agencies were in the habit of giving their workers allowances without getting appropriate approval.

He said: “Some board chairmen are in the habit of pushing the chief executives to pay what is not appropriate or authorised by government.

“In some of these agencies, you will find people taking salaries as well as allowances that they are not supposed to take, or taking the rate of allowances that they are not supposed to take.

“We have seen cases where they abuse the periodicity of payments. For instance, if somebody is supposed to get furniture allowance once every four years, they will instead pay the same amount every year.

“In fact, the most abused payments relates to DTA. The highest per night, which is meant for a minister is N35,000 but in some agencies, that is not even what they pay a level 8 officer.

“On their own, they will extend it even as high as N150,000 per night.

“Also, you won’t believe that staff schools, which are the concern of universities and tertiary institutions, have also been abused.

“These universities establish primary and secondary schools, collect school fees from pupils, but place their teachers as staff of the universities that government pays.

“In fact, in many of them, teachers collect salaries as much as a professor. So, all these things we discovered and put a stop to it.”

Egbule said the law setting up the Commission does not give it power to prosecute, therefore the Commission is only able to report infractions to supervising ministries.

In addition, he said there had been instances where some anti-graft agencies had stumbled on the Commission’s report and opened investigation, thereby recovering government funds.

Meanwhile, Egbule has attributed delay in the implementation of the “Consequential Adjustment” of the N30,000 new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands of labour unions.

He explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high and that was why government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.

“Labour is asking for consequential adjustment and government, in its wisdom, had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of N10,000 across board for those already earning above N30,000 per month.

“However, the unions have refused this offer, saying that because the increase in minimum wage from 18,000 to N30,000 was 66 per cent, therefore they want 66 per cent increment across board.

“We told them that the minimum wage was not raised from N18,000 to N30,000 through percentage increase, but as a result of consideration of economic factors, including ability to pay.

“However, we said that if they want consequential adjustments in percentage terms, we will use a percentage that when applied will not exceed what has been provided for in the budget.

“The computation based on percentage, which government had given to labour, was 9.5 per cent from level 7 to 14 including level 1-6 of those salary structures that did not benefit from the minimum wage.

“And then, five per cent from level 15 to 17. Labour countered the offer and proposed 30 per cent increase for level 7 to 14 and 25 per cent for level 15 to 17.

“One point we keep repeating is, it will be unfair that because you gave the person earning minimum wage N12,000, you give a level 17 officer almost N100,000 if you apply 25 per cent,” he said.

The Commission chairman said that at the last meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions, government proposed a 10 per cent increment for level seven to 14 and a 5.5 per cent increase for level 15 to 17.

He advised labour to come to a compromise because government had so far been magnanimous in agreeing to increase salaries without any threat of downsizing.

“Labour is currently stretching out and eating up the time that people could have used in benefiting from the adjustment because the new minimum wage was implemented since April.

“My advice is for labour to accept the terms for now and prepare to fight for the harmonization of salaries that is coming up. Harmonization of salaries will take care of this issue.

“The committee has already been formed and awaiting inauguration. I want them (labour) to know this and liberate us from this unnecessary logjam,” he said.

Egbule reiterated the Commission’s commitment to giving sound advice to government on the portion of national income that should be devoted to the payment of salaries and wages.

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ISIS claim responsibility for Kabul wedding suicide bombing

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ISIS claim responsibility for Kabul wedding suicide bombing

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a wedding party in Kabul.

The bomb blast killed at least 63 people and injured another 182 in the Afghan capital on Saturday night.

The venue was packed with party-goers and children when the terrifying attack was unleashed.

Pictures posted on social media showed bodies strewn amid overturned table and chairs at the wedding hall.

The bomber struck the men’s reception area, officials said.

“Everybody was running,” a waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, said after the blast.

“Several of our waiters were killed and wounded.”

The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government.

It follows a bomb attack on a mosque in Pakistan on Friday that killed a brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, reports metro.co.uk.

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ISIS claim responsibility for Kabul wedding suicide bombing

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ISIS claim responsibility for Kabul wedding suicide bombing

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a wedding party in Kabul.

The bomb blast killed at least 63 people and injured another 182 in the Afghan capital on Saturday night.

The venue was packed with party-goers and children when the terrifying attack was unleashed.

Pictures posted on social media showed bodies strewn amid overturned table and chairs at the wedding hall.

The bomber struck the men’s reception area, officials said.

“Everybody was running,” a waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, said after the blast.

“Several of our waiters were killed and wounded.”

The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government.

It follows a bomb attack on a mosque in Pakistan on Friday that killed a brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, reports metro.co.uk.

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Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Published

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By

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Published

on

By

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Published

on

By

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Published

on

By

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Published

on

By

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Published

on

By

Thousands resume Hong Kong protests

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

Continue Reading

News

Published

on

By

Tens of thousands of black-clad Hong Kong protesters have once again flooded the streets of the Chinese territory, for the eleventh straight week of anti-government demonstrations.

While only a rally at Victoria Park was permitted to proceed, as police denied a permit for a 3.7-kilometre march to Hong Kong’s central business district, the rally quickly became a march as crowds spilled out into neighboring streets and moved west towards the original destination.

As tropical rain began to pour down, protesters remained undeterred and became a sea of colourful umbrellas, streaming through the neighborhood of Wan Chai. They marched to the beat of a stationary drummer, while a speaker stood on pedestal with a microphone, leading a chant of: “Carrie Lam, step down!”

Protests were originally sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial, but have broadened into a wider movement against Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.

When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from its previous British colonial overseer in 1997, a framework called ‘One Country Two Systems’ was established to protect the unique civil liberties and freedoms, unseen on the mainland.

Demands

Sunday’s mass march was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), the same group that drew millions of people to the streets in recent months.

“If [the Hong Kong Government and Beijing] think they can simply wait for our campaign to die down, they are dead wrong,” says Bonnie Leung, vice-convener of CHRF.

“They can’t scare us away from the campaign using violence and [threats]. Hongkongers will soldier on until [the government responds to our five demands].”

Those demands include the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, universal suffrage and amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the protests.

Leung also reiterated the peaceful nature of Sunday’s march, encouraging all the “brave” protesters – meaning the more radical ones – to partake.

Most demonstrations begin peacefully, but some have devolved into chaotic confrontations. Protesters have in recent weeks thrown bricks and projectiles at the police, who have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper-spray, and batons on protesters.

The peaceful marketing of Sunday’s protest – “Peaceful, Rational, Nonviolent” – is an effort to restore the image of the pro-democracy movement after this past week’s polarizing airport protest.

After a five-day airport occupation that forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled, a group of protesters on Tuesday night beat and tied up two mainland Chinese men.

The incident has tarnished the movement’s image and caused a public outcry.

The Chinese government has also ramped up its fervor, saying radical protesters were showing signs of “terrorism” and circulating footage of troop build-ups in the bordering mainland city of Shenzhen.

Police say they’ve arrested more than 700 people since mass demonstrations kicked off in early June.

Since last weekend’s escalation, the past week has been relatively quiet as protesters and police alike seemed to take a few days to regroup. Several demonstrationsunfolded Saturday, including a teacher rally, a pro-government rally, and an anti-government march, reports al-Jazeera.

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