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There must be someone responsible for the grave removal farce in Zhoukou, says an article of the 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:
The enforced removal of graves in Zhoukou, Henan province, last year has an ironic ending. After central civil affairs authority banned all such actions in 2013, some residents in Zhoukou spontaneously moved the graves that had been moved to other places by the government back to their original places during Spring Festival, a season to mourn the dead in China.
The local government must reflect on the farce that caused a tremendous stir last year and the fierce confrontation between government actions and public opinion. The government suffers a great loss of credit in the process. There should be someone taking responsibility for it not only for the decision but also the execution of the enforced removal.
The decision does not respect local public opinion, and the execution process was very rude. After the central authority stopped the local government from removing graves, none of the local officials apologized or took responsibility for it.
Public cemeteries are the right choice for China in the future, given its large population and limited farmland resources. The government should respect the traditions and provide cemeteries for the new graves, but not take all means to remove the old ones by force before all these conditions are prepared.
Governments of various levels should draw lessons from the case, and there must be accountability in the government to let officials take responsibility for their words.