CANCELLING WOMA2019, 2 - 5 Dec 2019, Hong Kong
Dear All WOMA Attendees,
As you may be well aware of, Hong Kong has been undergoing an unprecedented unrest over the past five months.
It is unfortunate that the situation has rapidly worsened over the past week. We are seeing major vandalism on university campuses and across the city including the use of petroleum bombs, and major traffic disruptions due to protests across the city including the Airport Express, the Metro (subway), highways and roads. The universities have cancelled all face-to-face classes (or cut short the term), and have evacuated non-local students including graduate students (the campus will be empty of students for the rest of the term). The city is under a very tense atmosphere, with strongly polarised views, and mobs occupying streets and even university campuses. Normal life, work, study and research have all been seriously disrupted, if not in a total halt.
The WOMA2019 Organisers no longer see that Hong Kong and the HKUST campus have the most favourable environment for a fruitful academic exchange in early December.
After considering the current rapidly evolving situations and security risks, the WOMA2019 Organisers believe it is the right decision to call off WOMA2019. We apologise for all the inconvenience this would be causing you.
In the coming weeks, we will be working with our main sponsor and the HKUST to find feasible ways to address issues including your conference lodge and banquet reservations. Ms Foner Chan and General Chair, Prof. Andrew Poon, will be following up with you shortly.
We will be making a similar announcement on the WOMA website in due course.
Going forward, the WOMA series will continue in the future, either in Hong Kong after the city returns to a more normal condition or elsewhere.
Thank you all again for your enthusiasm and great support to the WOMA2019.
Andrew Poon, Frank Vollmer and Taka Harayama
The WOMA2019 Organisers