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People's Daily Online>>China Society

'He will not be back' from Mekong

By Cui Haipei (China Daily)

10:55, January 05, 2012

GUANLEI, Yunnan - Three months have passed since 13 Chinese sailors were shot to death on the Mekong River, and Yang Duoxu still is shrouded by the loss of her husband, Wang Guichao.

"Even now I am often awakened at night by horrible nightmares. How I wish he were alive and had just gone out to work and would have Spring Festival with us. But he will not be back."

Wang was chief engineer of the cargo boat Yu Xing 8 and the main breadwinner for the family of six. Yang, 45, returned to Guanlei port, in Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, the day before shipping on the Mekong resumed on Dec 10.

Since Wang's death on Oct 5, she has shouldered the burdens of the family. Now she does some farming at home on her family's bit of cropland.

The family has received 200,000 yuan ($31,700) in compensation for Wang's death. Yang, who has only a primary school education, said she would use the money to help her only son to finish college and her two daughters get married. "I want my son to have a better job after graduation. He is the only hope of the family."

Yang still has an 80-year-old mother-in-law to support. The older woman still has not been told of Wang's death, and she keeps asking where her son has been. "Every time she asks I feel like crying but cannot," Yang said. "My tears were already exhausted."

While in Guanlei - she left after the launching ceremony - Yang stayed aboard a cargo boat with crewmembers who were friends of her husband. "I wish all sailors in the river will be safe in the future, and a massacre won't happen again," she said.

The couple came from a mountainous village called Heping in Zhaotong, Yunnan, more than 1,000 kilometers away. The village lost three other men the same day, all on the Yu Xing 8: Yang Zhiwei, an 18-year-old sailor; his father, Yang Deyi, the captain; and his uncle, Wen Daihong.

Yang said her biggest desire now is that the people who killed the 13 Chinese soldiers in cold blood - nine Thai soldiers have been charged - will be punished severely.

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