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Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

Fears for Hong Kong’s Nepali youth in wake of gang fight

Community leader says parents must remain vigilant and ensure their children are watched after violence erupted in Yau Ma Tei on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 9:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 10:11am

The city’s Nepali community has made an urgent appeal for parents to keep a closer watch on the their children following the gang violence that prompted police to open fire and injure two men in Yau Ma Tei on Sunday.

Residents contacted by the Post complained of a rise in the number of people patronising unlicensed walk-up kitchens and bars in the area in recent months, raising fears about drunken fights.

The Hong Kong Nepalese Federation said on Monday that the ­violence had shocked the community and many Nepali residents in the city were saddened. They were worried about ­delinquent youth as well as the influence on other youngsters.

The federation said the community also celebrated the ­Dashain festival over the weekend, and youngsters could have been left unattended.

Overnight raids in Yau Ma Tei as police search for suspects in machete attack, blamed on drunken confrontation

“At festival time, the parents are meeting their own friends whereas the children are meeting theirs. The parents might be missing [at home]. That could be why this incident happened,” said the chairwoman of the federation, Rita Gurung, who is also a member of the Yau Tsim Mong Fight Crime Committee.

“We have appealed to parents to take care of their children and fix a time frame – like what time they should be home,” she added.

There are about 30,000 Nepalis living in Hong Kong. Around one-third of them live in the Yau Tsim Mong area, while another one-third are based in Yuen Long.

The police force continued a manhunt on Monday after the gang fight ended in shooting on Sunday morning. Two officers fired four shots when a gang of men armed with machetes continued to attack a 33-year-old Nepali man at the junction of Parkes Street and Nanking Street, despite officers’ repeated warnings.

They were all identified later as Nepalis. A 25-year-old man was shot three times in the waist and hip, while another man, 23, was shot in the forearm.

Hong Kong police manhunt continues after bloody Yau Ma Tei gang fight ends in shooting

Gurung said the federation had no clue about the background of the gangs involved, and had called an urgent meeting yesterday evening to discuss social harmony and security issues in the district.

A woman who has run a dessert shop in Parkes Street for two decades, said she saw an increasing number of Nepali teenagers frequenting unlicensed bars in the neighbourhood, and getting rowdy when they were drunk.

“These bars only entertain Nepalis. They gather every night and get drunk,” she said.

“They often shove in front of my shop. My furniture and stuff is all scattered on the ground.”

Balkrishna Pun, 44, a Nepali who was born and brought up in Hong Kong, highlighted the other side of the story, lamenting that the next generation was left on streets, unable to find work after school. “They are educated but can’t get a proper job. Their parents are busy working and making money. Where can they go and spend the energy?”

But Gurung disagreed. She said the attack was just an individual case and the new generation has been doing every well.

“They are hardworking and contributing to Hong Kong. They do not do bad things. I am very satisfied with them,” Gurung said.