- As a participant at a conference involving about 400 prominent social and political figures, Chandran Nair, who runs independent think tank the Global Institute for Tomorrow, called on the local news media to dedicate their front pages to the declaration of a ceasefire that may allow for peaceful leadership to emerge
Hong Kong apparently had its first peace conference at the weekend, with about 400 prominent social and political figures meeting to figure a way out for the city.
One of the participants, Chandran Nair, who runs independent think tank the Global Institute for Tomorrow, has the following idea. I will leave it to local news media bosses to decide whether to take it up.
"We, the media, must recognise our power and responsibility and use it to help move our city forward. We have the power to chart the course for our city.
"I want to call on all newspapers to dedicate their front page for three days to the declaration of a ceasefire. We must cast aside our desire to generate headlines or chase advertising money and accept that what is happening now is bigger than that.
"After five months, many may have thought Hong Kong's current unrest would have been resolved in some way. However, particularly in the last week, we have only seen a rapid approach to the point of no return with the continued escalation of violence.
"We must realise that there needs to be a retreat, as the intensifying spiral of violence and destruction will only lead to a loss of human life that few in Hong Kong have ever seen. This violence hardens positions and the resolve of each side to prevail at any cost, stokes the flames of hate and mistrust and prevents us from seeking solutions.
"It is clear that the movement has won the argument and made their point clear. Change must come. There has been too much talk about leaderless movement. Call for peace, show goodwill, make some concessions now and 'leaders' will come forth.
"A ceasefire would allow for the movement to seize their opportunity and take the first steps to ensuring that their success is a collective one. Of course, a ceasefire is not a cure-all for the divisions in Hong Kong, but it would let everyone take a step back, breathe and think about what we really want for our city.
"After this, we must create a space to come together, be willing to change and appeal to one another's humanity.
"Time will allow for peaceful leadership to emerge and let the seeds of a movement built on finding our commonalities to flourish. The road to peace will be a slow, incremental and painful. But we need to get on that road or Hong Kong will be lost."
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