A Legislative Council watchdog has criticised lawmakers for failing to defend the SAR's autonomy in the Falun Gong saga. Catholic Monitors on Legislative Councillors asked why no motion debate had been moved in the lawmaking body on the issue when, it said, there was evidence of Beijing intervening in the SAR's internal affairs. Last month, a China News Agency report quoted a Liaison Office official as saying that Hong Kong should not be used as an anti-China base. 'Obviously there is pressure on the SAR Government to stop Falun Gong members holding activities here,' the group said. It accused lawmakers of not acting to defend the SAR. 'Under such a political situation, would there be anyone who dares to condemn the central Government for violating human rights, to uphold the SAR's autonomy?' the group asked. The group accused lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp in particular of lacking moral courage. It referred to a motion debate moved by Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming last May to condemn Liaison Office deputy Wang Fengchao for meddling in SAR affairs. Mr Wang had said local media should avoid reporting views advocating Taiwan independence. 'This time, when a Liaison Office official similarly intervenes in the SAR's freedom of assembly and expression, no one makes a move. Do they have double standards?' it asked. Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier, said she had done a lot of work outside the council, including organising a signature campaign to support the sect. Democrat Cheung Man-kwong denied the party had been avoiding the issue. 'We have had discussions in panel meetings and I have questioned the Chief Executive during question time.' Maria Tam Wai-chu, local deputy to the National People's Congress, said it would not be necessary for the higher lawmaking body in Beijing to discuss the issue. 'The SAR Government will be able to handle the issue according to the Basic Law,' she said.