The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government had responded to media enquiries last year and given an account of Mianyang Ethnic Secondary School in the progress report on the HKSAR's work in support of reconstruction in the Sichuan earthquake stricken areas submitted to the Legislative Council Panel on Development in June 2012. In response to recent media reports, a government spokesman gave the following reply:
Mianyang Ethnic Secondary School was one of the non-governmental organisations' projects approved by the Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas (Trust Fund). The reconstruction of the teaching block was undertaken by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers Education Organisation Limited (the Federation) and had received funding support of HK$2 million from the Trust Fund. The teaching block was completed and opened in March 2010.
In early 2012, media reported that the school was torn down. The HKSAR Government attached great importance to the issue and discussed with Sichuan Provincial People's Government. The Sichuan Provincial People's Government confirmed that the Mianyang side demolished the school without prior consent of the HKSAR Government and this was not in line with the arrangements on the reconstruction projects agreed by the Sichuan and Hong Kong sides. The Sichuan side undertook to follow up the matter seriously.
The Federation had also written to the HKSAR Government, indicating its intention to withdraw its funding application and requesting assistance from the HKSAR Government to co-ordinate with the Sichuan side to return the HK$2 million funding support to the Trust Fund.
At the HKSAR Government's request, the Sichuan Provincial People's Government agreed and later confirmed that the HK$2 million funding was refunded to the designated account last May. The Trust Fund had also excluded the school from its list of reconstruction projects.
Ends/Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:20