Teachers suspended over mining complaints | Shanghai Daily

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Teachers suspended over mining complaints

TWO teachers in southwest China have been suspended to dissuade their family members from complaining to higher governments about illegal coal mining.

The mines are under the protection of local government officials who reportedly have stakes in them, state radio reported today.

Liu Yanrong with Suzhuangze School and Bai Lingbo with Shajiawan Primary School, both in Hengshan County of Shaanxi Province's Yulin City, were told they would not be allowed to resume work until the complaints stop, they told China National Radio.

Henghsan's Party committee ordered the suspensions, Zhang Zhonghou, director of the Hengshan Education Commission, told the radio station.

Zhang said Liu's father-in-law, Hu Jianhuai, a 72-year-old retired teacher, has encouraged villagers to complain to higher governments about illegal coal mining in Huloufang Village.

Zhang didn't specify how Bai's family was involved in the complaint campaign.

Hu complained about Leiyangpan and Xitagou mines in Huloupang Village.

According to villagers, the illegal mining caused a 13.33-hectare sinkhole in farmland and drained well water for 10 months.

Both mines were listed as illegal mines to be shut by the Shaanxi provincial government in January, he said. But they are still in operation, with Leiyangpan, for example, producing 800 to 1,000 tons of coal each day, according to mine workers.

Villagers told the radio that local government officials who have stakes in the mines have sheltered the illegal production.

Citing the Xitagou mine as an example, they said its board director is Wang Yaobing,who is also office manager of Agricultural Bank of China's Hengshan branch. Wang has a 15.6 million yuan (US$2.28 million) stake in the mine.

Cao Peiming, director of the Hengshan Urban Construction Bureau, and Zhang Bingtuan, office manager of the Hengshan Mine Resources Office also have stakes in mines, close sources told the radio station.

Cao and Zhang confirmed to the radio they have respective stakes valued at 1 million yuan and 3 million yuan in Hengshan's Ershike mine.



 

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