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Revenge is no justice
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If a wrong is avenged with another wrong, there would be no end to it.

We fully understand the indignation of the innocent citizens of Urumqi, especially those whose beloved ones were killed or injured in the riots. Yet revenge is not the way to justice.

Justice must be done. And we believe it will be. But not through violent infighting among innocent citizens of different ethnic backgrounds. Or we will play right into the hands of the masterminds of the Sunday rioting, who want full-blown ethnic tensions between the Uygur and Han citizens. That would only sadden our own folk and gladden the enemies. And the people of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region would never have a day of peace thereafter.

For everybody's well being, and for true justice to be done, we call on all citizens, regardless of ethnic backgrounds, to demonstrate reason and restraint, and consign the task of justice-doing to the justices.

Law enforcement is doing its best to track down criminal suspects in the Sunday rioting. Citizens' own revenge-seeking not only is against the law, but will also distract the judiciary, and add new factors of instability to the already chaotic situation.

At present, like always, order is in the best interest of all citizens, except a very small number of people who want to profit from chaos.

The indiscriminate carnage on Sunday was cursed because it targeted innocent citizens. We are angry because of its disturbing character of ethnic hatred. If the victim communities follow suit and do the same to the harm-doers' communities, we are no better than those we hate and despise.

"Blood for blood" is incompatible with the rule of law, and will only lead to a vicious circle of harm and revenge. That is a zero-sum game where there is no true winner. And that is precisely the instigators' dream scenario - Han against Uygur.

Amid the excited pleas for justice and calls for revenge, everybody should allow him/herself a moment of calm and ask him/herself a simple question: Is it fair to hate all Han/Uygur people?

Of course not. The Han and Uygur residents of Urumqi have lived in harmony for all these decades. The Sunday mobsters represented only a very small fraction of the local Uygur population.

With most suspects under custody, and a few others on the run, we are sure the overwhelming majority of the Uygur citizens in Urumqi are themselves victims of the unrest. It would be a larger tragedy if the innocent Uygurs become targets of revenge.

Violence is not the answer to injustice. There has been too much bloodshed in Urumqi. We cannot afford to see more.

(China Daily July 8, 2009)

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