Hong Kong residents turned to leader Carrie Lam on Thursday, criticizing her for restricting election freedoms when she began the first session of an “open dialogue” with the public to end the violent protests that have been going on in Hong Kong for more than three months.

Lam nodded politely at the meeting, when speaker after speaker accused her administration of ignoring the public and exacerbating the crisis, which has no end in the foreseeable future.

“The whole storm was caused by an extradition bill initiated by the government,” Lam said. “If we want to get away from difficulties and find a way out, the government should take the greatest responsibility for it.”

The protests over the extradition bill currently pending, which would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, have turned into wider calls for complete democracy, a serious challenge to the Chinese Communist Party leaders.

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