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Hong Kongs’s Lam reiterates support for national security law

Addressing possible US sanctions on Hong Kong, the spokesperson said that its special status of “separate customs territory” was enshrined in the constitution.

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Carrie Lam Xi Jimping

Hong Kong, May 29 : Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Friday reiterated her support for the new security law approved by Beijing, while the government has expressed strong opposition to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that the city could no longer be considered autonomous from mainland China.

The government published a letter by Lam in which she defended her support for the contentious security law which seeks to do away with any “foreign interference” in the region, approved by the Beijing a day earlier, and which lawyers as well as civil society experts believe could curtail the freedoms enjoyed by the semi-autonomous city, reports Efe news.

“There is both the need and the urgency for legislation, the constitutionality, lawfulness and reasonableness of which are beyond doubt,” Lam said, adding its aim is to “enable Hong Kong society to find a way out of the impasse”.

She added that “the opposition forces and organizations advocating ‘Hong Kong independence’ and ‘self-determination'” disregarded the interests of the city, while “external forces” have “seriously jeopardize(d) our nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests”.

Lam believes that the law will “target an extremely small minority of illegal and criminal acts and activities” and will not affect the rights and liberties of the people of the territory.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government on Thursday rebutted Pompeo’s “unfounded allegations” that Hong Kong could no longer be considered autonomous from China, which could threaten the preferential trade status given by Washington to the former British colony.

“These remarks misrepresented the constitutional relationship between the HKSAR and the Central Authorities, smeared the implementation of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in Hong Kong and interfered in the internal affairs of Hong Kong,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson reiterated that “Hong Kong is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China”.

“It is a local administrative region which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People’s Government.”

Addressing possible US sanctions on Hong Kong, the spokesperson said that its special status of “separate customs territory” was enshrined in the constitution.

“We shall continue to pursue the policy of free trade. As a separate member of the World Trade Organization, we expect to be fairly treated by our trading partners,” he added.

The spokesperson added that “the threat of sanctions to achieve the purpose of interfering with the policy of another place is a violation of international law and international practice. Practically, in Hong Kong-US relationship, any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the US”.

The measure could prove to be a blow for the semi-autonomous city, which is an important trade and financial hub on a global level, and it could mean punishment for China, which uses the territory to do business with other countries.

Beijing has warned that, if the US goes ahead with the said measures, it would retaliate.

Disaster

Congress leader Sushmita Dev tests Covid positive in Assam, tally 14,032

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

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Sushmita Dev

Guwahati/Silchar, July 9 : While former Congress Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev has tested positive for coronavirus, the Assam government refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers leader, tested Covid-19 positive.

On Thursday, Covid-19 death toll rose to 24 and number of cases jumped to 14,032 in the state.

All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and the party”s national spokesperson Dev, daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was on Wednesday admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital after she tested nCoV positive.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am asymptomatic as of now,” the 48-year-old Congress leader tweeted. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inquired about her health.

On Akhil Gogoi testing Covid-19 positive, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such report from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in the judicial custody, tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, during the day two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 24, while the number of cases rose to 14,032.

Two more Covid-19 patients, aged 70 and 56, succumbed to the infection this morning at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, tweeted Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Health Department is conducting door-to-door Covid-19 testing in Guwahati from Tuesday. The campaign in the Pandu area of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is being personally monitored by Sarma.

According to the health officials, the number of Covid-19 cases in Assam has climbed to 14,032. Of this, 5,279 are active as 8,726 people have been discharged, three migrated to other states and 24 died.

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Goa faces health, finance, law and order emergencies: Kamat

Kamat said Goa was not just facing a health emergency, but also an emergency related to its finances as well as the law and order.

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Digambar Kamat

Panaji, July 9 : Goa was in a health, finance and law and order emergency and “no one could say what will happen” in the state over the next 15 days, said Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, here on Thursday.

This was staated by the former Chief Minister at a time when Goa reported 136 cases, the new single-day high, on Wednesday and the geographic footprint of Covid-19 appeared to reach new areas.

One sitting MLA had tested positive and an ex-Health Minister died from Covid-19 some days back, Kamat said.

Last week, Clafasio Dias, BJP legislator from the Cuncolim seat, in a video on social media said he had tested Vovid-19 positive and been admitted to the designated Covid-19 hospital. Former Health Minister Suresh Amonkar, who was had co-morbid condition, died from Covid-19 on July 6.

Kamat also demanded a white paper from the Goa”s BJP-led coalition government on the coronavirus scenario in the state. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was bound to inform the opposition legislators as well as common people about the pandemic and the efforts being made to tackle it.

In view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Chief Minister has urged people not to venture out of homes and avoid unnecessary socialising to help check infection.

Kamat said Goa was not just facing a health emergency, but also an emergency related to its finances as well as the law and order.

“We know the government treasury is strained because of financial mismanagement and expenses related to Covid-19. Now the police is behaving in a high-handed manner,” Kamat said.

He was referring to detention of three persons in the remote Melaulim village in North Goa. They were picked up while addressing the media on government excesses in land acquisition for the upcoming Indian Institute of Technology campus in the village.

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Is Modi Govtr diluting India’s claim on Galwan Valley: Congress

“Dear PM. 1. Are you creating a ‘buffer zone’ in our own territory? 2. Are you pushing our forces back 2.4 KM in our territory? 3. Are you compromising on PP-14 being Indian territory?

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surjewala modi

New Delhi, July 9 : The Congress on Thursday raised questions before Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the status of India’s position in the Galwan Valley. It asked whether a buffer zone in own territory was being created and the claim over the Galwan Valley being diluted.

Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala amid reports that the Indian forces were pulling back asked four questions to the Prime Minister.

“Dear PM. 1. Are you creating a ‘buffer zone’ in our own territory? 2. Are you pushing our forces back 2.4 KM in our territory? 3. Are you compromising on PP-14 being Indian territory? 4. Are you diluting India’s claim over Galwan Valley? India demands answers,” tweeted Surjewala.

He cited a news report in his tweet.

On June 15, Indian and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were engaged in brutal hand-to-hand combat at Patrolling Point 14. A total 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in the worst clash in four decades.

As per the agreement between the Corps Commanders, a buffer zone of at least 1.5 km on both sides of the Line of Actual Control has to be created in these areas.

Sources said that in Galwan Valley, the water level of the Galwan river has risen suddenly due to melting of snow, which could have forced the Chinese to move from the area faster. The Indian Army is reported to be using drones to verify Chinese movement as physical verification has been hindered by the rising water levels of the Galwan river.

The report says that at Pangong lake, the most contentious issue between the two sides, Chinese troops have moved up to Finger 4 where they have brought over 120 vehicles and dozen boats. The Chinese army has also opened up a new front in the area near the Depsang Bulge, a tabletop plateau north of Galwan. They have built camps and deployed vehicles and troops.

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