Sunday, August 14, 2011

Anti-Fils backlash

Anti-Philippines Backlash in Hong Kong After Rampage

AOL News

(Aug. 31) --
With anti-Philippines feelings running high in Hong Kong, the Philippines allowed police from the Chinese territory to inspect the bullet-riddled bus where eight Hong Kong tourists were gunned down last week.

Since the Aug. 23 shooting, Hong Kong and mainland China have sharply criticized the Philippines for the botched raid on the bus. The raid ended a daylong standoff after a former Philippine policeman armed with an assault rifle seized a busload of tourists in central Manila, demanding his job back. He had been fired over alleged extortion.

Photos of Philippine police and schoolgirls posing in front of the bus the day after the tragedy added fuel to the fire after they were posted on Facebook and other websites.

The tragedy has strained ties between the Philippines and Hong Kong, the semiautonomous Chinese enclave just across the South China Sea. The Chinese government has called on the Philippines to quickly wrap up its probe of the tragedy.

Hong Kong police on Monday examined the bus and inspected weapons used by police and the hostage-taker in the shootout, according to Agence France-Presse. The Philippines police command also issued a gag order on its cops before an official probe is complete, the news agency said, after one prematurely told the press Sunday that the assailant was likely responsible for all the hostages' deaths.

Some have questioned whether some of the hostages may have been accidentally killed by the Philippines police during the chaotic firefight aboard the bus in the final minutes of the showdown.

The Philippines government has already admitted to making errors. Today, it called on the media to work with it to restrain coverage of future stand-offs, according to AFP.

Philippines police were faulted for not better controlling media coverage of the hostage crisis. The hostage-taker was able to view live TV coverage from a monitor inside the bus, and began shooting hostages shortly after seeing on TV the police arresting his brother near the bus, according to AFP.

In Hong Kong, an anti-Philippines backlash was running high. One politician said she had fired her Filipina maid and encouraged others to do the same, according to a video posted to YouTube and translated at the EastSouthWestNorth blog. (More than 100,000 Filipinos work in the territory, most of them women working as maids.)

Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan came in for a hail of Internet abuse from Hong Kong nationalists after he "tweeted" remarks that were viewed as too sympathetic to the Philippines police, such as the following: "If they killed the guy (hijacker) sooner, they will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner? So sad."

Chan later apologized in a statement posted on his website, but insisted his remarks had been mistranslated.

Tens of thousands joined a march in Hong Kong on Sunday to mourn the victims.

Meanwhile, one of the surviving hostages wrote a first-person account of the ordeal, published in Hong Kong's Ming Pao weekly and translated by ESWN. In the account, Lee Ying Chuen says the hostages at several points mulled the idea of trying to overpower the gunman.

"Why did we waver?" Lee wrote. "Because we were afraid, because we thought that the gunman did not really want to kill anyone, because we thought that the matter would be peacefully resolved and, of course, our biggest mistake was to overestimate the capabilities of the local police."

The gunman had also spaced out the hostages two to a row, one on each side of the aisle, to prevent them from more easily banding together, Lee wrote.

Hong Kong's Apple Daily produced one of its infamous animated news clips of the hostage crisis, using details from news reports and a dramatic re-creation to show what may have happened on the bus.

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