Anti-mask law puts Hong Kong leader’s dialogue sessions in doubt
The anti-mask law has thrown the Hong Kong leader’s official programme of talks with the public into doubt, according to political sources, who also revealed that frontline protesters were among those who had attended her closed-door sessions.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has, however, not given up on meeting groups of Hongkongers as a way of resolving the increasingly violent unrest gripping Hong Kong, although the chances of those sessions continuing are dwindling, the insiders say.
Some of those taking part in the public dialogues, launched last month to much fanfare, suggested they were little more than a talking shop with government decisions in the wake of the first talks only making the crisis worse.
As well as last month’s community dialogue in Wan Chai, the city’s leader and her ministers have been meeting residents behind closed doors to find a way forward, eager to demonstrate empathy even as some of those invited express frustration with the administration.
According to a political source, those at the dialogues have included frontline protesters and individuals who have counselled radicals in the movement.
But coming sessions are believed to have been delayed after the government invoked a colonial-era law to ban the use of face masks at public assemblies