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News letter Issue No.39

Issue No.39

  April 26, 2010


Ruthless Quake, Boundless Love

Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the Chinese Mission


The devastating earthquake at Yushu, Qinghai in China caused huge damage and brought the nation under enormous pain. By 10 A.M. April 20th, the disaster has relentlessly taken 2,046 lives, injuring 12,135, of which 1,434 were severely wounded, yet another 193 remained missing. “The earthquake is ruthless, but our world is filled with love.” The sincere remarks of President Hu Jintao when he went out among the people in Yushu impressed and inspired many minds. The Chinese people came together, joined hands, and made this story of great sorrow into a one of blessing love.


Love is all around when the hearts of our leaders went out for the victims. The government responded quickly. President Hu returned to China after a shortened overseas visit to direct relief efforts on the ground. Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in the disaster hit area on the second day of the quake. “Try your best, never give up” is what we hear they saying time and again. The whole nation mourned our painful loss on April 21st, flags were flown at half mast across China and in all Chinese missions overseas, and public entertainment activities were suspended. Less than two years after the Sichuan Wenchuan earthquake, the whole nation gathered once again to remember the loss of our people.


Love is all around when rescuers from everywhere risked theirs lives to save. Soldiers, police, government employees, medical workers, engineers, volunteers—17,500 of them—from all parts of China came to help. The high altitude has taken away the air for the rescuers, but not their resolve to race against time. Hardships paled before their dedication and love. They left no rubble unsearched, no second wasted, no one unattended for, and no place disinfected. Life was honored, 6,110 lives were saved from the debris and a total of 17,000 people received help from the rescue teams. In Yushu, miracles simply happened nonstop.


Love is all around when the victims were thoughtfully accommodated and cared for. Medical workers are always on the ready next to stretchers out of the rubbles, and planes are always on the ready to fly the severely wounded to the neighboring provinces hundreds of miles away. Tents, food, water and medicines have been made available to the majority of the people. Plans have been announced by the central government to support, within three months, homeless and resourceless quake victims, orphans, the childless elderlies, and people with disabilities. The 11th Panchen Lama, in praying for the early freedom from pains of the victims, hosted a ritual for the suffering souls of the earthquake.


Love is all around when Chinese everywhere reached out helping arms in this moment of hardship and misfortune. Relief efforts proceeded efficiently and expeditiously. Forty-five thousand tents, 160,000 overcoats, 200,000 quilts, and huge quantities of daily necessities poured into town within just a few days. In Yushu, banners bearing words like “We Are Together With Tibetan Countrymen” are everywhere. Nationwide, there are long queues at charity stations. And online, tens of millions of posts are dedicated to Yushu and Qinghai, topping all major websites.


Love is all around when the undefeatable Yushu people take up a new start. On the 18th, the so missed voices of morning recitals once again came through the windows of the makeshift classrooms. The expectation is that all affected schools will return to normal teaching before the month end. On the 19th, the main structure of the power grid was restored, and electricity is back in most parts of the county. Landlines and mobile networks have been fixed for 42 of the 45 counties in the Yushu Prefecture. On the 20th, six days into the earthquake, some shops in the worst hit Jiegu County reopened. We did not see the chaos of crowds struggling for goods. We did, however, see the beam of light of a new Yushu. The government has put up a team for reconstruction which is working strenuously to fashion a feasible and proper plan to transform Yushu into a highland ecological tourism city.


Love is all around when the international community kindly extended firm and solid support. In the wake of the disaster, we have received sincere and deep condolences from countries throughout the world. Your best wishes helped a great deal as we maneuver through this difficult moment. Your acknowledgment of the efforts of our people and our leaders and your noble proposals to assist us in whatever ways possible meant a lot to all those who have shared the pain and suffering with the victims.


President Hu said, “We will have new campuses! And we will have new homes!” Indeed, we will never give up, we will never lose confidence, and we will never lose our hope. The love will continue, the miracles will continue, Yushu will not falter, and a better day is yet to come.

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