[救生艇]肥彭撐加國YTS

末代港督彭定康於7月7日去信加拿大外交部長商鵬飛(Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne),對加國推年青人才計劃(YTS,Young Talent Scheme)表示贊同。信中他首先讚賞加國擱置對港引渡條款及出口軍備,又表示YTS可救援無BNO的年青抗爭者。

On 7 July, Lord Patten of Barnes, the last Governor of Hong Kong and a patron of Hong Kong Watch, wrote to the Canadian Foreign Minister, the Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne MP, to endorse the idea of Canada considering a Hong Kong ‘Young Talents’ scheme.

In the letter, he began by endorsing Canada’s suspension of the Hong Kong extradition treaty, as well as military exports. He continues to note that many of the pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are not covered by the British BNO policy, and that Canada should therefore consider starting a ‘Young Talents’ scheme to help young people.

香港監察董事Johnny Patterson表示:「加拿大可全方位對抗侵害香港人權自由者,包括接收難民、尋求協商、厲行制裁。年青抗爭者亟需生路,英國的BNO計劃無法救助他們,加拿大的YTS正好補位。」

Johnny Patterson, Director of Hong Kong Watch says: “Canada should be considering a whole range of actions to combat this assault on freedom in Hong Kong including offering refuge, pursuing diplomacy and enacting sanctions. Britain’s BNO policy fails to provide a lifeline to some of the young people who most badly need it, the proposal of a Canada Young Talents scheme would help plug that gap.” 

彭定康爵士信件如下:

外務大臣鈞鑒:

本人以香港監察贊助人身份撰寫此信,以表達對加國政府回應香港《國安法》的支持。包括擱置引渡條款及出口軍備、鼓勵加國參與國際救生艇計劃以保證所有有需要港人均可逃出生天。

相信你也注意到,《國安法》聲稱可管轄全世界罪案,用詞嚴厲,更特設組織、欽點法官,罪行條文既嚴酷又模糊。香港是否仍能在一國兩制下享有人權、法治、自由已成疑問。面對人權被禁,不少港人思考此地何去何從。

我歡迎英國慷概地提升BNO權利,使BNO持有人在五年內可到英國工作讀書,從而踏上成為公民之路。不過我也留意到不少被香港政府鎖定的民運人士都是1997或之後出生,並無BNO。

據此,我相信加拿大與其他英聯邦及撐民主盟友如澳洲、台灣、日本及歐洲各國通力合作以補位,保證有逃生需要又無BNO之香港人不會被遺棄。

據我所知加國政府正討論「年青人才計劃」,此計劃可供年青香港在加國讀書、工作,踏上入籍加國之路。我謹此表示我等全力支持此類計劃,這將再次證明加國政府在捍衛人權,民主和法治方面的長期佳績。

毋庸置疑,這些年輕港人將加拿大帶來巨大財富。他們不僅受良好教育、精通英語並具企業家精神,而且他們價值觀與加拿大社會一致,包括民主,法治,包容和言論自由。

加拿大的香港僑民社區龐大,亦有大量加拿大人居港,故加拿大對香港作為一個自治,國際化和開放城市的未來仍有密切利益。我讚揚您為抵制這《國安法》所作的努力,並期待接下來數周您再下一城,為年輕港人提供這條逃生路線。

謹啟

巴思斯勳爵、前港督彭定康

Full text of Lord Patten’s letter:

Dear Foreign Minister,

I am writing as a patron of Hong Kong Watch to express support for the measures the Canadian Government has taken in response to the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, including the suspension of Canada’s extradition treaty and military exports to the territory, and to encourage Canada’s participation in an international lifeboat scheme to ensure all Hong Kongers in need of a lifeline have one.

As I am sure you are aware, the National Security Law’s claim to worldwide criminal jurisdiction over overseas activism, its punitive sentencing, and its creation of special bodies and hand-picked judges to prosecute this new set of draconian and vague crimes, throws into question the freedoms, rule of law, and the autonomy Hong Kong previously enjoyed under One Country, Two Systems. In the face of a further crackdown on their rights, many Hong Kongers are considering their future in the city.

I welcome the generous offer by the British Government to extend the rights of British National Overseas passport holders, giving BNOs and their dependents five years leave to remain with the right to work and study, as a pathway to citizenship. However, I also note that many of the pro-democracy activists who are likely to be targeted under this new law were born after the handover in 1997 and do not qualify for the scheme.

With that in mind, I believe Canada alongside other commonwealth and democratic likeminded partners including Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and other European countries, would be well placed to fill this gap and ensure that Hong Kongers who are not BNOs and are in need of a lifeline are not abandoned.

It is my understanding that there are discussions currently taking place within the Canadian Government over the creation of a ‘Young Talents’ scheme targeted at young Hong Kongers. This scheme would make it easier for them to study and live in Canada as a pathway to citizenship. I would like to put on record our wholehearted support for such a scheme, which would reiterate the Canadian Government’s long record of defending human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

It should go without saying, that these young Hong Kongers have an enormous amount to offer Canada.  Not only are they highly educated, highly proficient in English, and entrepreneurial in nature, but they believe in the shared universal values of Canadian society, including democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, and free expression.

With a large Hong Kong diaspora community in Canada and a substantial number of Canadians living in Hong Kong, Canada continues to have a substantial interest in the future of Hong Kong as an autonomous, international, and open city. I applaud your efforts to stand up against this draconian National Security Law, and hope that in the next few weeks you will go further and offer young Hong Kongers this lifeline.

Yours sincerely,
The Rt. Hon. the Lord Patten of Barnes, former Governor of Hong Kong

香港監察原文連結:
https://www.hongkongwatch.org/all-posts/2020/7/8/lifeboat-update-lord-patten-calls-for-canada-to-consider-hong-kong-young-talents-scheme

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