Long before the Umbrella Movement or last year's sustained political unrest, this reputation was cemented in 2003, when mass marches against a proposed anti-sedition law known as Article 23 succeeded in forcing the government to shelve the legislation. In the 17 years since, despite promises to do so and much prodding from Beijing, no Hong Kong administration has dared restart this process.
This week, Beijing's patience ran out. On the back of more than six months of often violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year, the National People's Congress (NPC), China's rubber-stamp parliament, put forward plans to introduce a national security and anti-sedition law on the city's behalf, bypassing Hong Kong's legislature via a rarely used constitutional backdoor.
The details of the proposed law go far beyond what was put forward in 2003. As well as criminalizing "treason, secession, sedition (and) subversion" against the central government, it will also enable Chinese national security organs to operate in the city "to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law."
Expected to be passed by the NPC later this month and promulgated in Hong Kong soon after, the law will have drastic effects on whole swaths of Hong Kong society, from the city's garrulous and defiant political sphere to media, education and international business.
Riot police detain a group of people during an demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.
Hong Kong has always prided itself on following the rule of law, with an independent judiciary and civil liberties far beyond what is allowed across the border in mainland China. The type of arbitrary punishment, secret detention and nakedly political prosecution common in the mainland is almost unheard of in the city.
These rights are enshrined within the Basic Law -- the city's de facto constitution -- and guaranteed (in theory) by an agreement between China and the United Kingdom when Hong Kong was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997. Hong Kong, unlike China, is also party to international treaties guaranteeing various civil liberties.
The new law challenges all of this. By criminalizing such a broad swath of ill-defined acts, it could give the authorities leeway to go after the city's opposition as they see fit.
In China, sweeping national security laws have been used to target human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and pro-democracy campaigners. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in 2017 after more than a decade behind bars, was convicted of "inciting subversion of state power."
Permitting China's security apparatus to operate in the city also raises the specter of extralegal persecution. Dissidents and activists in China are often disappeared by the authorities or threatened with arrest around sensitive events, and many journalists and lawyers are dragged in to "take tea" with the security services, during which they receive thinly-veiled threats about the potential consequences of their work.
What the proposed law means for Hong Kong:
- New national security law will criminalize "treason, secession, sedition (and) subversion" against the Chinese government.
- It will also permit Chinese security services to operate in Hong Kong "to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law."
- Vaguely defined "subversion" laws have long been used to prosecute dissidents and activists in China.
- Rules will be imposed via a constitutional backdoor, bypassing city's legislature and damaging Hong Kong's reputation for upholding rule of law.
- May spark sanctions from Washington and a loss of Hong Kong's special trading status with the US, potentially devastating the city's economy.
Speaking at a news conference called by opposition lawmakers on Friday, Democratic Party legislator Helena Wong said that even the local government "will not be able to regulate what the agents do in Hong Kong."
Her colleague Claudia Mo told CNN that the news was proof that Beijing "will do anything to rein in Hong Kong at any cost."
"It's clear Beijing couldn't care less anymore what people think," she added.
Implementation of the law in Hong Kong could also prove to be a nightmare for the city's courts -- which operate separately to the Chinese legal system and free of the political pressures put on mainland judges.
This does not mean the law is at much risk of being overturned, however. The NPC is the court of final appeal in Hong Kong and can issue an "interpretation" of any constitutional issue, essentially rewriting the Basic Law on the fly.
But the confusion and uncertainty the new rules may create, and a potential prolonged fight in the courts, could pose a major blow to the city's reputation for upholding the rule of law, which has long been seen as vital for Hong Kong's position as an international finance and business hub.
Pro-democracy supporters hold placards and shout slogans as they take part in a march during a rally on New Years Day on January 1, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.
Unlike the proposed extradition bill that kicked off last year's unrest, the scope and effects of the anti-sedition law could be broad and society-wide. A major chilling effect can be expected on the city's media and political spheres -- journalist groups have long warned of increasing self-censorship as pressure from Beijing has increased and newspapers and television stations came under the control of Chinese owners.
The fate of the city's large international press corps is unclear. At present, foreign journalists are free to work in Hong Kong unimpeded by the type of visa and other restrictions imposed on colleagues in China, but ahead of the new law there were already indications that this was coming to a close. New controls on reporting in Hong Kong could see many media organizations relocate from the city, traditionally a base for reporting on the wider Asia region.
A crackdown on the city's legislature, where pro-democracy lawmakers hold around a third of seats, could also be a result. In recent years, lawmakers have been expelled from the body and some candidates have been barred from standing on political grounds. The new law could give Hong Kong authorities a broader remit to remove obstructive lawmakers from their positions or even prosecute them for blocking key legislation, particularly on national security grounds.
The effects of the proposed change will likely be felt outside the city too. US Senators are due to issue an assessment under the Hong Kong Democracy and Human Rights Act (HKDA) on whether the city remains sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its special trading status. It's difficult to see how Beijing bypassing Hong Kong's parliament and legislating on its behalf won't shape this decision.
Late Thursday, several US lawmakers promised to impose sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for imposing the law, which they described as a "gross violation" of China's agreement with the UK to preserve the city's freedoms when it assumed sovereignty in 1997.
Beijing may be counting on the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has weakened the ability and determination of the international community to pressure it over Hong Kong -- the UK in particular, newly outside of the European Union, is dependent on increased trade with China to boost its flagging economy.
With the new rules being imposed from on high, leap-frogging Hong Kong's legislature, it is unclear what protesters or opposition lawmakers can do to prevent them becoming law. Legislators succeeded in filibustering a proposed law criminalizing any insult of China's national anthem for years, while protesters physically blocked the parliament last year and prevented further discussion of the loathed extradition bill. Neither tactic would work against the new national security law.
The timing, coming as coronavirus restrictions are still in place in Hong Kong, which is only just getting its domestic epidemic fully under control, could mean that people are less willing to join mass protests than they were last year.
Nevertheless, amid widespread despair late Thursday night, Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and leader of the 2014 protests, called on people not to give up entirely: "At this time last year, didn't we all think the extradition law would definitely be passed? Hong Kong people can always create miracles."
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Last Wednesday, we published the success story from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, after he successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100 percent success using a cocktail of drugs:
hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate. Dr. Zelenko said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours after treatment. Do you know that the ancient Egypt were civilized by architects from the (500,000 - 4000 BC) Nsukka Civiliation? Now, Dr. Zelenko provides updates on the treatment after he successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients in New York. In an exclusive interview with former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study, which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and four hospitalizations.
AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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The major problem towards deciphering the original plac…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underling truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to f…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal (The Nag Hammadi, 219)
Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people are that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors are. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Geographic…
ETHIOPIAHISTORY & ORIGIN (Extracted from the
book, Reality as Myth)BYONYEJI NNAJI
Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley
watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the
ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. ... There a people, now forgotten, discovered
while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race
of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair,
founded on the study of the laws of nature, those civil and religious systems
which still govern the universe(Count Volney). Because of the position of Ethiopia
in the Bible story as one remarkable black nation with ancient history, it
becomes almost impossible to see any other nation as being of more ancient than
Ethiopia. Ethiopia suddenly became the yardstick for the analysis of the Negro
race. And with the influence of Christianity in the inner part of Africa, the
adherents were provided with bold pictures of the cradle of the human race…