By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Hong Kong's embattled chief executive said on Tuesday that it was "remarkable" that "no major fatalities" had taken place amid more than three months of protest.
Carrie Lam told journalists that the ongoing protests constituted a very long, drawn-out process and "filled with uncertainty, unpredictability," adding that police have been "undergoing a very difficult period".
"The fact that, after over three months, we have not seen any major fatalities in Hong Kong by world standards… It is quite remarkable," she said.
Hong Kong, an autonomous region under China’s control since 1997, is witnessing unrelenting protests against the local authorities ever since Lam's government introduced changes to extradition bill.
The bill has since been completely withdrawn. Many protesters have been arrested while others were injured, allegedly due to police, who they accuse of brutality and excesses.
"I can’t tell you, because it’s really on the ground. It is not for me, sort of quite far away from the commander, to be able to judge -- let alone to tell them what to do. We have to trust the force and the commanders in dealing with such different situations," Lam replied to a question on the risk of law enforcement losing restraint over time.
Meanwhile, the daily South China Morning Post reported that the government has spent nearly 7.4 million Hong Kong dollars ($898,000) for global advertisements to assure visitors and investors that the region remained safe for travel and business.
The government advertisements, which appeared in various international newspapers and other media outlets, assured the foreigners that they were "determined to achieve a peaceful, rational and reasonable resolution", and that Hong Kong remained "a safe, open, welcoming and cosmopolitan society and an internationally connected, vibrant and dynamic economy".
Since early June when protests galvanized, demonstrators have also been able to generate over 30 million HKD ($3.8 million) funds to run parallel campaigns.