Flowerbed disliked by activists is to stay

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2012, 12:00am
 

A call to remove a large flowerbed, which activists say interferes with demonstrations outside the central government's liaison office in Western, was rejected yesterday.

The Central and Western District Council voted down a motion, submitted by four Democratic Party district councillors, to remove the bed.

'It does not serve as a flowerbed any more, as police sometimes use it as an action zone and they sometimes make it a press zone. The plants are trampled,' said Democratic Party district councillor Kam Nai-wai, who put the motion forward.

The addition of the flowerbed had reduced the width of a footpath from nine metres to three metres, he said. . However, Democratic Party district councillor Cheng Lai-king said the footpath shrank to a width of only 1.8 metres when police enforce restrictions during protests.

The other 14 district councillors voted against the motion, saying residents had the right to enjoy a pleasant living environment

The owners' committees of nine residential buildings near the office signed a letter, which was submitted to the council, in favour of keeping the flowerbed. Three journalists' associations and the Civil Human Rights Front submitted letters supporting its removal.

Protests were staged outside the liaison office because of the public's perception of increased central government interference in Hong Kong affairs, Kam said. He put forward a motion suggesting that as residents complained about the protests, the council should ask for the office to be move away from residential areas. It was voted down.

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