Ending conflict with the people

Updated: 2014-08-01 07:32

(China Daily)

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Conflicts involving interests are common in a period of social transformation, and many who feel they have suffered will choose to petition to higher authorities. To prevent any negative effects from such incidents, local governments need to abide by the law themselves first.

Some blame the farmers for speculating on the issue, but in fact their actions are provoked by the wrong deeds of the authorities. Power should be tolerant of individuals who have reasonable complaints but cannot find any proper channel to express them.

hsw.cn, July 29

Rule of law requires that ordinary people are able to defend their rights via the legal system. But more importantly, local governments must act within the law as well, so as not to produce or intensify social conflicts.

Shan Guangnai, a sociology researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Xinhua Daily Telegraph, July 29

The arrogance of power can be clearly seen in the case of petitioners committing suicide. When taking over farmers' lands, many local governments never trouble to hear farmers' voices, let alone interact or negotiate with them; all they are doing is forcefully pushing on the process, taking over their land within certain days or ordering them to "leave your land". Deprived of their last means of survival, how can the farmers be expected to remain reasonable? Many tragedies like suicide or mass incidents are caused in this way and we do not want to hear of more.

Beijing News, July 29

Conflicts between authorities and ordinary people are common and the authorities must give up thinking that they are always right. Actually, the judiciary should be the defender of social justice as well as citizens' legal rights in a society governed by rule of law. The government's deeds must be under its supervision too.

That requires systemic arrangements to ensure judicial power is able to balance administrative power. Repeated incidents of citizens resorting to defending their legal rights by committing suicide warn that social stability cannot be achieved without people's rights being protected. We expect the ongoing judicial reform to end such incidents.

Beijing Times, July 29