Stop corpse exchange business

Updated: 2014-11-06 08:08

(China Daily)

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Three suspects in Beiliu, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region - two of whom are civil affairs officials from Guangdong province - have been prosecuted for "stealing corpses from graves." The thefts, the three said, were carried out to fulfill the administrative "assignment of cremation" (that is, filling up the quota for cremation) from senior officials. This calls for higher authorities to take strict measures to change rigid governmental management systems, says an article on Excerpts:

It is indeed shocking that local Guangdong officials lost their sense of morality and ethics and degenerated into buyers of corpses from another province to fulfill an assignment. As if that was not enough, the Beiliu local government is reported to have approved the preposterous proposal of corpse exchange between tomb diggers in Guangxi and Guangdong.

Officials who ordered and carried out this "ridiculous" assignment should be punished for violating the law on corpse theft and for insulting the dead.

The reason behind this absurdity is the ineffective cremation reform in the country, especially in the countryside. To encourage farmers to give up the funeral tradition of burial, many local governments have offered profit-oriented assignments to their executive staff. With the rewards - such as salary increment and promotion - getting bigger, more individuals take up such assignments, which includes purchasing corpses from tomb robbers.

The cremation reform should be based on scientific planning and supervision. And local governments should be offered motivational rewards for following the rules and punishment for breaking them, which will advance the reform.