Damas missing amid watchful eyes

Top News | Cindy Wan 9 Jul 2019

Scores of protesters went to Tuen Mun Park yesterday for the second time in less than a week in an attempt to drive away noisy street performers.

About 50 Tuen Mun residents organized "a sightseeing tour" to observe whether officers of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department maintained the serenity in the park.

This came after "dama" performers - middle-aged female mainlanders - returned to sing and dance after a protest against them drew more than 10,000 protesters on Saturday.

The nuisance caused by the performers has been a nightmare for Tuen Mun residents for more than a decade, and the noise problem worsened after the cancellation of the pedestrian zone in Sai Yeung Choi South Street in Mong Kok last July.

Not only were they accused of creating a noise nuisance, those women, mostly from the mainland, have also been accused of performing vulgar dances to encourage tipping by their fans - usually elderly local men.

But the Saturday protest failed to deter the performers, so a Facebook group of about 5,000 members called the second wave of action yesterday.

But as the LCSD officers began walking around to see if anyone was performing in the park, the elderly audience who usually spend their time in the park confronted them.

The protesters accused the officers of tipping off the performers to keep their performances decent, while the elderly supporters blamed the protesters for interrupting their leisure activities.

An old woman scolded the protesters and accused them of creating social unrest. She allegedly hit the head of a protester with a paper fan, sparking off yelling and swearing between the two groups.

About 10 policemen arrived to separate them and escorted a woman away from the scene.

The protesters were unhappy that the police did not arrest the woman and tailed them until the woman was escorted to a police van.

The woman and two witnesses apparently gave statements at Tuen Mun police station, and the case is now being investigated as common assault.

Resident Lance Yan, who organized the Facebook group, said the park had its quietest day in the past 10 years yesterday.

The damas did not appear in the park yesterday to avoid confrontation with protesters, and action against them will continue until LCSD steps up to restrict their noisy performances, he said.

The "sightseeing tour" ended at about 4.30pm.

Separately, a 77-year-old man accidentally slipped and injured his head at about 5.20pm and was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, Michael Mo Kwan-Tai, the organizer of Saturday's protest, said the failure by the government to enforce the law has prompted some 10,000 people to voice discontent in the park.

Speaking on radio yesterday, he urged LCSD to close the park's self-entertainment zone to return it to a quiet area for leisure activities.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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