John Lee slams people who play down terrorism as “sinner for a thousand years”

Chief Secretary for Administration John Lee Ka-chiu said people who play down terrorism as “sinner for a thousand years”.

Lee joined Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung in condemning University of Hong Kong law chair professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, without naming him, who said on Sunday that violent behavior should be condemned, but added paying tribute to the attacker could be out of sympathy, or could even be a way to voice discontent toward the government.

There is a big gap between paying tribute and promoting terrorism, Chan added.

Tang yesterday dig at Chan that he should worry about losing sleep at night for defending people who paid tribute to 50-year-old Leung Kin-fai, who stabbed a policeman before stabbing himself to death in Causeway Bay last Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after the Legco meeting today, Lee assailed people using secondary students to carry out alleged terrorist activities by trying to set off bombs and the whole society should work together to combat terrorism.

He said any dissatisfaction with the government cannot be the reason for terrorist activities. Any attempts to play down terrorist activities would encourage those with radical thinking to conduct radical behavior again and to harm the society.

Some people tried to beautify and rationalize terrorist activities, he said, “especially those who have a legal background should know that what they said can influence society… people who tried to play down these terrorist activities will become ‘sinner for a thousand years’.”

Lee said: “It is important that everybody who says something (should) know that there may be a consequence, particularly for the extremists who may have been already imbedded with some extreme ideas.

“If there is any indication that may suggest to him (Leung) that his sin can be exonerated simply because of what he believes, then it’s a very dangerous thing. “It is a responsibility for all who make public statements and all should bear that in mind.”

Lee’s comments came as police arrested nine people allegedly belonging to the pro-independence group Returning Valiant yesterday, and police claimed to have foiled the terrorist plot planning to plant bombs at public locations across the city.

Police national security department today also escorted Baptist University public relations officer, To Yee-sze, 39, who was arrested in the bomb plot case, back to the campus in Shek Mun, Sha Tin.

Armed with a search warrant, officers searched To’s office, who was among the nine people arrested, including his wife.

Today, Baptist University said in a statement that it “will do its best to help with the investigation”, and the arrested staff member will be suspended from duty immediately.

Its president Alexander Wai Ping-kong said: “The university strongly condemns terrorism and violent acts, and members of the university community should abide by the law at all times.”

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