Parents who lost their children in China’s earthquake on May 12th last year are fearful they will not be allowed to properly commemorate the disaster’s first anniversary. The government has admitted that nearly 14,000 schools – some of them poorly or hastily built – were damaged in the magnitude-8 earthquake. Official figures number "5,335 students dead or missing and another 546 were left disabled." [Tu Wentao, head of the Sichuan Province education department. 06.05.2009].
Parents are still seeking answers about why so many schools collapsed during the earthquake. Many parents want to return to the site of the schools in Sichuan that killed their children when they collapsed. On every occasion that parents have wanted to pay their respects to their children, the whole school and nearby area have been sealed off and parents have been prevented from visiting the sites on a number of occasions notably on last month’s Qīngmíngjié [Tomb Sweeping Festival], when for centuries Chinese people traditionally visit family graves and pay homage to the dead.
Where I wonder are the bloggers who were swift to condemn outside influences on the run up to Beijing 2008? They seem more concerned about boycotting Carrefour than the plight of fellow citizens. The silence is deafening.