There are as many 12,000 dead in China after the quake, plus hundreds of thousands injured and homeless, and there may be more quakes to come in the region. Those suffering here are not the ones who ordered troops into Lhasa or tanks into Tienanmen Square, but even if they were, in a previous life, whether you take that literally or not, each one of them was your mother, and in yet another life, your child.

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