Hong Kong protesters throng streets peacefully in pouring rain Aug 19, 2019 0 828 12345 ReutersHONG KONGHundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied peacefully in Hong Kong on Sunday, filling major thoroughfares under torrential downpours in the eleventh week of what have been often violent demonstrations in the Asian financial hub.Sunday’s turnout showed that the movement still has broad-based support despite the ugly scenes witnessed in recent days when protesters occupied the Chinese-ruled city’s airport, a move for which some activists apologised. It was the calmest weekend protest since the latest demonstrations against perceived creeping Beijing influence in the former British colony began.“They’ve been telling everyone we’re rioters. The march today is to show everyone we are not,” said a 23-year-old named Chris, who works in marketing and was dressed all in black, including a scarf covering his face and baseball cap.“It does not mean we won’t keep fighting. We will do whatever is necessary to win, but today we take a break, then we reassess.” One protester shouted at others who were jeering at police, “Today is a peaceful march! Don’t fall into the trap! The world is watching us,” prompting the group to move on.Late in the evening, some demonstrators were urging others to go home and rest.Anger over a now-suspended bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China erupted in June, but the unrest has been fuelled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” formula put in place after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997, including an independent judiciary and right to protest.The protests present one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012, with the ruling Communist Party preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1.Protesters held aloft placards with slogans including “Free Hong Kong!” and “Democracy now!” and umbrellas to shield them from the sometimes heavy rain. Some aimed green lasers at police and government buildings. The crowd in Causeway Bay’s leafy Victoria Park, where the rally started, included elderly people and young families, with some parents carrying toddlers.Despite rally organisers not having permission to march, the park could not accommodate the crowd, which thronged nearby streets. Many protesters headed towards the city’s financial centre, chanting for the city’s Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, to step down. Pages 12 POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES At least 18 killed, many missing in landslides and floods in northern India Aug 19, 2019 0 614 India reimposes some curbs on movement, phones in Kashmir Aug 19, 2019 0 71 10,000 homeless after fire razes Bangladesh slum Aug 19, 2019 0 102 Ambulance driver killed in Myanmar as army battles rebels Yangon: A volunteer ambulance driver was killed in Myanmar’s remote northeast as clashes between the army and ethnic insurgents escalated over the weekend, state media reported Sunday. The area near the Chinese border .. Indonesian police shoot suspected militant after officer injured JAKARTA: A suspected Islamic militant has launched an attack on an Indonesian police station in the country’s second-biggest city, slashing one officer with a sickle, before being shot and taken into custody, police .. 4,000 detained in Kashmir since autonomy stripped: Govt sources Srinagar: Thousands of people have been detained in Indian Kashmir over fears of unrest after New Delhi stripped the region of its autonomy two weeks ago, government sources said. A magistrate speaking on condition of ..