June 18 (UPI) -- Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam apologized to the public Tuesday following mass protests on the island over a controversial bill but did not offer her resignation as demonstrators had demanded.
In her first speech since protests erupted June 9 over a controversial extradition bill, Lam said she has "reflected deeply on all that transpired" and that "deficiencies" in the government were to blame for the public's anger.
"This has led to controversies, disputes and anxieties in society," she said. "For this, I offer my most sincere apology to all people of Hong Kong."
The bill, which would allow for fugitives from Beijing's courts residing in Hong Kong to be extradited to China, was put on hold Saturday, but then 2 million people took to the streets Sunday, demanding the bill to be permanently scrapped and for Lam to resign.