Public Urges Gov't Concern for School Attack
   2012-12-17 20:52:14    Xinhua      Web Editor: Liu Ranran

The public has been expressing their dissatisfaction with the media and local government in their handling of the aftermath of the slaughter of children that happened Friday.

Twenty-three school children and an 85-year-old woman were stabbed in a central China village. Elsewhere, twenty-six people, including twelve girls and eight boys, were shot dead in Connecticut, in the United States.

Both massacres broke out in elementary schools, on Dec. 14.

"It's a sad day for the whole world. The Children wounded and dead in Wanquan and Sandy Hook... What's wrong with the world?" wrote film actor Jackie Chan on Weibo.com, China's most popular twitter-like microblog service.

On Sina Weibo, "Save the Children" tops the list of hot topics, with more than 6 million netizens joining in discussions.

However, discussions have shifted focus from school safety concerns or condemnation of the massacres to the ways how the slaughters have been handled.

While the Chinese public are searching for answers, the government of Guangshan County, where the 23 Chinese children were slashed, has kept silent.

Guangshan government announced on its website on Friday it would hold a press conference on Saturday, but then canceled without giving a reason.

Local government staff began to "disappear" or become "dumb."

Xinhua's reporters arrived at the Chenpeng village management office with one female person there, claiming not to be office staff.

The reporters even found an official of the local educational bureau playing computer games while trying to get information about the rampage. The official called himself "common staff" but was confirmed to be the educational office's deputy head.

"Why not stand out to publicize the truth?" commented "zcufkp" on t.sohu.com, among thousands of netizens opposing local government's attitude.

"We should confront the tragedy, and then try to avoid the recurrence of the tragedy," according to an article published by critic Jia Ye on leading BBS platform tianya.cn.

Jia cited the swift and full media coverage and government response in the U.S. to the school shooting case, and President Barack Obama joining in with mourners and vowing to stop school slaughter.

City dailies on the mainland have also been questioned by netizens to unexceptionably put the American school shooting on their front pages.

"Now we are all American," Ding Daoqin, an economic researcher with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said on his microblog. He retweeted a picture showcasing the headlines of dozens of newspapers including "Children lost in American shootings," "Don't Cry, America," "Hold on, America."

"We know much about the American killer, even his family and childhood, but know little about the Chinese suspect," noted writer Zheng Yuanjie on Weibo.

Some have said the aim is to try to turn people's attention to foreign cases.

The People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, publicized a short article on its official microblog calling on the Guangshan government for information transparency.

"The Guangshan tragedy is sad for the children and pain for the imbalanced development of China," the article said.

According to a statement released by Guangshan government, Min Yongjun, the suspect in Friday's knife attack on Chinese students in Guangshan, central China's Henan Province, has been arrested.

The attack took place around 7 a.m. on Friday, when 38-year old Min, who is allegedly a long-term epilepsy sufferer, hit and stabbed an old woman and then rushed to the school to stab the children.

Authorities in Xinyang city, which administrates Guangshan, have ordered reinforced patrols near schools in the city.

Rao Mingsheng, health director for Guangshan, said on Monday that none of the people injured in the attack was in a critical condition.

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