Harmony - not anger - is answer to woes, says Tong

Top News | Charlotte Luo 28 Oct 2019

Brutality is not the answer to the SAR's problems, says Cardinal John Tong Hon, a former Roman Catholic bishop of Hong Kong.

Instead, he called on people to have hope, avoid anger and work for harmony in society while also asking the administration to listen to the voices of the disillusioned.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Tong said: "I am deeply saddened by the unrest in Hong Kong, which shows little signs of easing. Tensions continue to mount.

"I want to plead with the local government to really listen to the voice of the people. Law enforcers must abide by the law and must execute the law with their consciences. In this way, trust and reverence between the authorities and people can then be rebuilt."

While he could not offer resolution to the crisis, Tong, 80, said: "We can take a deep breath, recalling some depressed moments, and contemplate how we got through them and restore hope. Or we can talk to well-trusted friends."

People can feel frustrated when their demands are not met, he added, but they should not despair.

"Despair keeps a person from looking to the future, and it exhausts our lives."

Tong also said anger can easily generate hatred.

"With hatred, the human capability to discern right and wrong will be lost, and one's goodness of heart will diminish. Violence will be aroused.

"I firmly believe that violence produces violence. Brutality definitely cannot resolve the current problems but will only incite more risks and threats of harm and cause deeper wounds."

Everyone should act according to their consciences and respect one another, he went on, saying: "This is one of the key elements of the success of Hong Kong over the past years.

"To restore harmony, a true and sincere response to public opinion is a good policy. The primary task of today is to rebuild trust between the government and the people."

Tong said many young people appear to be anxious and worried about the situation.

He then called on all sectors of society, including the government, to share responsibility and to help the "perplexed and disillusioned" young people.

charlotte.luo@singtaonewscorp.com

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