HK protest funding questioned

HK protest funding questioned

Lawmakers and anti-occupation groups are calling for a probe into alleged donations from external entities to foment and maintain the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Ip Kwok-him, a lawmaker of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, moved on Thursday to invoke the Legislative Council's special powers to probe the finances and support of the occupiers, whose street actions have gone on for more than a month.

Ip cited "sources" saying that the legislative body that the organizers of the protests have received unimaginably strong material and financial support, and it was in the public interest to uncover the source.

Ip said several local churches were contacted by sister congregations in the US calling on their Hong Kong counterparts to provide shelter to protesters. He added that other sources told him no small amount of materials sustaining the illegal sit-ins were provided by US-based organisations.

"There is lots of evidence that forces are trying to trigger a possible colour revolution in Hong Kong," Ip said as other lawmakers voiced support for invoking the Legislative Council's special powers and privileges. The matter will be voted on Friday.

"We need to know where the mass of supplies feeding protesting sites is coming from and clarify if there are indeed any links to clandestine organisations," legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan said.

Meanwhile, New People's Party lawmaker Regina Ip said the sophistication of the protests' communications pointed to links with external forces. Many of the apps used by protesters were deployed in colour revolutions that had erupted else where she said.

She added that the protesters' evolving tactics of disobedience were proof of a high-level of organisation, saying there was already evidence of foreign intervention and citing the role of Taiwanese independence activists at the sit-ins.

Occupation protest organizers have repeatedly refused to reveal the source of HK$1.45 million (S$240,000) in donations passed on to three organisations in the University of Hong Kong.

Revelations that the school's Public Opinion Program received HK$800,000 prompted a group of concerned citizens to call for the suspension and investigation of programme director Robert Chung Ting-yiu, while the University Grants Committee, which oversees funding of the city's universities, has been urged to investigate the donation.

Complaints have also been filed by the anti-occupation concern group Justice Alliance, which urged police to open a case. It will also seek action from the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

In Beijing, Vice-Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Guo Yezhou spoke out against external forces trying to affect Hong Kong's development.

"Hong Kong affairs are China's domestic issues, and we oppose to any external forces that are trying to intervene," he said.

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