After finishing my work as an entertainment journalist I finally have time to do something for those suffering peasants. I wrote the following letter this afternoon and sent it to the National Bureau for Letters and Calls. Tonight it is raining outside, and several raindrops landed on the envelope and wrinkled the paper immediately. Not a good sign for the future of this letter.
When I came back, I told my colleague about what I had done. His first reaction was, “You’re too naive.” I said I know.
In my heart, I know that a reasonable government and a good social order can only be realized through numerous naive actions. If Chinese have already become so jaded, let our generation return to the status of naivety again.
January 18, 2006
Dear Working Members of the National Bureau for Letters and Calls:
How are you? On December 6, 2005, the Shanwei City government, Guangdong Province, used military police to crack down on villagers in Dongzhou Village who were disrupting the power plant because they were dissatisfied with the compensation provided for the land. When the military police opened fire, it caused many deaths and injuries. According to Xinhua, there were three deaths. According to foreign news reports, there were 11 deaths.
Until now, there has been no comprehensive, public reporting on this bloody event. We also know nothing about the investigation and judicial process. All domestic media has kept completely silent on this event. On the Internet, exposure and discussion about this event has been limited and blocked to a certain degree.
This bloody event can already be categorized as a “public safety” incident under the definition of “sudden public events” in the “Overall National Emergency Response Plan For Sudden Public Events.” Therefore I am writing to urge you to follow Article 3.4 of this national plan, which covers the matter of information distribution: “Publication of information about sudden public events needs to be timely, accurate, objective, and comprehensive. Information must be immediately distributed to society as soon as the event occurs. Following this, more confirmed information, the response measures of the government, and measures taken to protect the public must also be publicly distributed. Depending on how the event is handled, follow-up information must also be distributed.” I am urging the government to request that Chinese news bureaus and the propaganda department follow the Overall National Emergency Response Plan For Sudden Public Events to allow media and websites to freely publish the latest reports and developments in the investigation. Let the words on paper [of the regulation] be realized and implement the measures of “authorizing to publicize, distributing press releases, organizing reporting, accepting interviews of journalists, and holding press conferences.”
Whether this bloody event is categorized as a public riot or peasant uprising is the concern of sociologists or historians. It also depends on the interpretation skills of the politicians, according to their needs. But this has nothing to do with the objective, truthful, timely reporting of a news event and it does not have a direct causality with the grand policies of social stability and national security. The main point of this letter is to ask the government to intervene with the current news censorship system, without addressing demands for press freedom and freedom of expression, in order to effectively implement the “Overall National Emergency Response Plan For Sudden Public Events.” Therefore, I believe the demands of this letter are limited and reasonable. Working Members of the National Bureau of Letters and Calls, please pass this letter to higher authorities with the hope that the government can overcome the short-term interests of different interest groups to make a visionary but concrete effort for the entire nation’s long-term interest.
If the contents of this letter are not within the mandate of your bureau, please let me know where I should direct it. Thank you very much.
Citizen Lu Binwen (ÈôÜÁßâÊñá)
ID no: 310108197111143014
E-mail: [email protected]