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Cadres punished for taking relief tents
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Four cadres in quake-hit Shaanxi Province were punish for taking relief tents or neglecting rescue work, Xinhua news agency reported today.

Zhu Luean, an official of Lueyang County Court in Shaanxi, and Du Seng, an official of the county's urban supervision team, abused their power and kept several tents that were reserved for quake victims soon after the earthquake struck Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, the report said.

Quake victims at the tent distribution point informed their supervisors of what had transpired, the report added.

The county's supervisory committee warned both Zhu and Du.

Another official Yao Zhenglang, a probative director of the Lueyang government's medicine department, also took seven relief tents. Yao was sacked and given a Party warning, the report said.

Xiong Xiaofeng, director of a department of the Lueyang agricultural bureau, left his post without permission after the May 12 earthquake.

Although other officials asked Xiong to return many times, Xiong refused over "fears of aftershocks," the report said. Xiong returned to his post on May 17, the report said.

Xiong was sacked and placed on probation for a year within the Party, the report added.

The county's supervisory commission said all relief materials should first be given to homeless quake victims, the elderly and the weak. The commission will severely punish cadres or Party members who possess relief items without permission, said the report.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities published a special statute on Friday that provides for punishment of malpractice and fraud involving relief for the earthquake.

The new regulation was jointly issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision.

The regulation prohibits embezzlement and fraud in the distribution of relief materials, the trading of relief goods and other official malfeasance.

Institutions and individuals found to have engaged in such activities will be severely punished by the Communist Party and the government. Those who broke the law will have their cases referred to judicial departments for prosecution, said the report.

(Shanghai Daily June 2, 2008)

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