Since the the immense tragedy caused by the earthquake last week, many Chinese citizens have urged the government to lower the national flag to half-mast and suspend Olympic torch relay celebrations. Now these voices are being heard. For the first time in PRC’s history, the government has lowered flags to half-mast in honor of civilians instead of national leaders. From Xinhua:
Beijing : Flags are to be kept at half-mast and all public amusements will be suspended for three days from Monday as China begins an official mourning period for victims of the May 12 earthquake.
The State Council, the Cabinet, on Sunday ordered a nationwide display of respect for the dead. The Olympic torch relay will also be suspended from Monday to Wednesday, the Olympic organizing committee said.
China’s diplomatic missions abroad were also ordered to observe the order, and condolence books are to be opened in the Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates around the world.
The public are asked to stand in silence for three minutes from 2:28 p.m. on Monday, while automobiles, trains, and ships would sound their air sir.
See AP video: