Chinese premier meets petitioners to listen their grievances

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has visited the country`s top complaints bureau to directly listen people`s grievances over unpaid wages, home demolitions and land grabs.

Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 20:56 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has
visited the country`s top complaints bureau here to directly
listen people`s grievances over unpaid wages, home demolitions
and land grabs - in the first such move since the Communists
came to power in China.

During the visit, Wen met rural farmers and migrant
workers, and heard their complaints about injustice and
official indifference.

It was the first time a Chinese premier has had
face-to-face communication with ordinary petitioners in
Beijing since People`s Republic of China was founded in 1949,
the state-run newsagency Xinhua reported.

His visit came amid reports of growing discontentment
in the lower rungs of Chinese middle classes who bore the
brunt of official high handedness like demolitions and poor
compensation payments.

"Our government is a government of the people, and our
power is granted by the people. Respect the opinions of
farmers, give them reasonable compensation, and protect their
rights," Wen told officials after listing to people. "Please
don`t hold anything back, and give me the facts."

The petitioners heard by Wen and government ministers
included a stall holder whose property was demolished, farmers
whose land was confiscated and homes demolished for
development, and a coal miner disabled in an accident in 2002
who complained of scant compensation.

Wen said letting officials conduct face-to-face
communications with petitioners can help solve public
complaints timely and at the grassroots level.

PTI