上海大火4千万善款消失？受害人要真相 [Shanghai Fire Victims Claim
Donations Were Embezzled]
捐款4,480万 只发420万 4,000万去向不明
Shanghai Fire Victims Claim Donations Were Embezzled
After donations were received and some compensation paid after a major fire
disaster in Shanghai late last year, the victims’ families are wondering where
the rest of the money went. A total of 44.8 million yuan (US$7 million) was
donated to disaster victims, but they received only 4.2 million yuan, they wrote
in a letter.
The fire on Nov. 15, 2010, ravaged a 28-story high-rise in
Jingan District of Shanghai, leaving 58 dead and 71 injured. Direct economic
losses totaled 158 million yuan (US$24.7 million).
Wang Hong, one of the
survivors, led a group of 21 victims in sending an open letter to the Shanghai
local government asking them to make public information about donation
collection and distribution. The open letter also tabulated all donations
published by Shanghai newspapers and charity
organizations, adding up to 44.8 million yuan.
The letter added
that, up to now
only 4.2 million yuan of that has been paid out. Part of the letter was published on the blog of the group’s lawyer,
The letter quickly drew the attention of Chinese media. Yuan
said on his blog on Sept. 7 that he had received requests for interview by 20
media outlets since the publication of the letter. Some media were told by the
authorities not to report it, he
The Jinan branch of the Shanghai Charity Foundation, a
regime-affiliated entity, said on Sept. 6 that 54.7 million was received in
donations, and that 28.35
million yuan was distributed.
This did little to convince critics. Wang Hong, who organized the letter, questioned how the money was specifically distributed and why the Shanghai Charity Foundation could not provide an itemized list. He wondered why it was the Shanghai Charity Foundation that came out to clarify the matter, rather than a higher office. Wang further alleged
that vast sums had been embezzled.
Neither the Shanghai Charity
Foundation nor the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau had answers to these concerns when contacted by The Epoch Times,
and declined comment.
contacted by The Epoch Times assumed that the money had disappeared into the
bureaucracy, and were bitter. Mr. Qu from Jingan district said: “Many Chinese
charities are led by officials in the Communist Party. The political system
determines that they will suck blood from the general public.”
fire, the regime gave 915,000 yuan (US$143,000) to the relatives of each of the
deceased, but some victims’ families would not accept the money because they
felt it insufficient. Some eventually relented, while others are continuing to
fight for what they regard as a more just sum.
Ms. Jia from Zhengzhou,
Henan Province, who is involved in public welfare and has observed the
development of this case, was frustrated: “I can’t describe these actions with
words; they ate the charity money and swallowed human conscience.”
efforts by lawyer Yuan Yulai to trace the donations and payouts have not met
with success. Yuan keeps a running blog
of the alphabet soup of government departments he has contacted about it.
The faith of Chinese people in charities in the country, especially
those connected with anything official, is at an all-time low. In June of this
year a young woman named Guo Meimei, who identified herself as an affiliate with
the China Red Cross, flaunted her lavish lifestyle online. Chinese people saw in
those photos—pictured as she was, for example, with designer handbags and a
Maserati luxury vehicle worth a fortune—the
cold use of charity money on the high-life for the well-connected.
article in Chinese Economic Weekly on Sept. 6 reported that from June to August
of this year, mainland charities received 86 percent less in donations than the
same period last year.
Read the original Chinese article.