Letter: Neither PLA nor mainland thugs coming

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Retired Police Officer Robin Jolly doesn’t buy rumours about the PLA or triads being brought in from China to disrupt Occupy Central. We’ve enough angels and devils to do the job with local talent.

Dear Editor,

On recent commentary from various sources regarding the Occupy Central situation:

Firstly, I keep hearing reference to the Hong Kong Garrison from diverse news media as if the PLA are going to come trooping out of their barracks to take control of the situation. This is an erroneous belief as the so-called ‘Hong Kong Garrison’ exists in name only and China has never maintained a significant military presence in Hong Kong. Admittedly, the PLA ‘trooped’ across the border in significant numbers on July 1st 1997 (and quietly went back to their bases in Shenzhen within a few days). To my knowledge and from personal observation of all of their bases in Hong Kong over the intervening years, there is only a ‘skeleton crew’.

Secondly, I listened to Martin Lee on the BBC World News on the eve of China’s National Day. He suggested that China will send thugs from the mainland to disrupt the organised and peaceful nature of this protest. I can’t believe this educated and well-respected gentleman would suggest such a thing when we have plenty of our own ‘thugs’ in Hong Kong who are already chomping at the bit and ready for action. They are called ‘triads’ and in just about every public order situation that I encountered during my 33 years’ service, they will try to take advantage of the situation. The worst occasion? June 1989!

Mr Lee has either taken to living in an ivory tower or is intent on promoting his form of propaganda. I say this as triads have already started to form their own groups under the guise of supporting the protests. In reality, they are biding their time and waiting for the right opportunity to start something serious.

Robin Jolly
Retired Hong Kong police officer