Dialogues in HK after a stalemate

DIALOGUES between pro-democracy protesters and government in Hong Kong commence tomorrow (Friday) after more than a week of stalemate. The news of official talks comes as a dwindling number of pro-democracy demonstrators continue to cling on to their protest sites in key areas of the commercial city. While the protesters blocked several main highways demanding democracy in the 2017 elections, embattled Chief Executive CY Leung urged them to consider the inconveniences caused to the general public and insisted that the students clear the vehicle entrances to the government complex. In similar protests in last December in Dhaka, the government made obstacles by putting sand-laden trucks to the entrance of the then opposition leader’s house and applied force on the protesters inhumanly in front of Supreme Court.
After the holding of the non-credible and one-sided vote in January 5, 2014 the civil society, media, businesses and the selective groups have been urging the confronting parties to sit for dialogues for establishing real democracy. But the government trashes the concept of talks.
The Hong Kong demonstrations brought tens of thousands of residents together in spectacular fashion, covering large areas of the semi-autonomous territory of the central business district. Normal life came to a halt. The protests have blocked bus and tram routes, worsening traffic and putting more strain on the city’s rail network. But the police acted responsibly. If it had happened in Dhaka certainly the ruling party’s musclemen with the help of law enforcers would flush them out.
The protest movement commands a lot of sympathy among residents of the city, especially after police used tear gas and pepper spray in a failed effort to disperse demonstrators on September 28 – tactics seen by many as overly harsh. It was harsh when police used teargas and pepper spray in Hong Kong but it is legal and justified if police even kill protesters in Bangladesh. Similarly, it is also a lesson for political parties in Bangladesh that how the students have staged more than a week long demonstration defying harsh attacks and stifling heat and torrential downpours. The protesters have said they will continue the protest until they have productive talks with the government and expressed optimism that their supporters will stick with them as they have succeeded in putting the democracy issue back on the agenda.
Political uncertainty usually hurts the economy. The Hong Kong protesters, residents and government are aware about their declining economy, but the demand for democracy should not be an issue which can be compromised as it adorns life with its blessings. When opposition reiterates the need for a dialogue over democracy and elections with the government which was actually not elected, the rulers shows their reluctance to hold dialogue, which would probably lead to violence resulting in losses for our economy.