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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mission accomplished, but?

With the daunting task of a stupendous display on a closure, my mind lingers with an afterthought of introspection. Despite what we have put forth, in the name of the Sichuan earthquake relief, I still doubt on the effectiveness of the entire disaster response and the future prevention on the root cause of this devastation.

What I fear is the reenactment of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake victim relief program after the Tsunami struck. The initial overwhelming surge of response brought hope to thousands of desperate survivors, with promising aid from worldwide donations to the international awareness of the tragedy at hand. Governing bodies, institutions, non-for-profit organizations, corporations and individuals had all pledged passionately to assist in the overall relief effort. With millions of promising aid, the global community was positive that the relief effort would flow smoothly with the timely reconstruction for those who had lost everything.

It is now almost four years since the Tsunami, are the inhabitants better off? Has the reconstruction proceeded as scheduled? The last time I checked, nothing was as it seems. Some of the rebuilding effort went as planned, but majority of the remnant remains without being replaced as promised by the local governments. What was more nauseating is the hidden conversion clause for some of the new accommodations built by non-for-profit groups. Although they are free-of-charge, in order to live in the unit, the dweller must switch allegiance to Christianity. What about the millions of promising aid from the international audience? Where have it gone to? Many international watchdogs speculated the corruption, embroiled with the many stratification of the government, easily siphon off the donation until it amounted to nothing when percolating to the intended victims. This, together with the many examples of mismanagement, truly illustrates the selfishness and greediness of human being.

I sincerely hope, with the millions of aid money now being transferred to institutions and government overseeing the quake relief, what has happened to South East Asia would not happen to China. Furthermore, the PRC should show good faith by uprooting the true cause behind this massive death toll so the demised may rest in peace. Corruption-led casualties definitely outnumber the "real" earthquake victims. Specifically, corruption has given permits to buildings without steel enforcement, which toppled easily under the tremendous tremor, killing thousands. Corruption has selectively victimized the impoverished. When the school their pupils attended collapsed, killing all inside, the nearby government buildings and schools for the upper-class remained intact. What is more shocking is that corruption has led the victims without a fair compensation, their family without a fair say, and their soul without proper justice. Will China shows its benevolence by eradicating this fundamental problem of a one-party country? I highly doubt that is going to happen when the upper echelon thrives on corruption and leeches off the middle and lower classes. How could the victim have justice when the equality of the living is off-center?

The victims of the Sichuan earthquake, I hear you! One day, that very regime which brought corruption shall tumble and the everlasting peace will come. That one day is what we all hope for. That one day symbolizes the beginning of a new era. An era of no discrimination, false imprisonment and injustice. Equality will be upon us!

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