Online posts against President Park stacking up

May 1, 2014
Park Sung-mi

Park Sung-mi

By Joel Lee

Cheong Wa Dae’s official website has been swarmed with posts critical of President Park Geun-hye over the sunken ferry Sewol.

A post entitled, “The reason you mustn’t be the president,” written by the 35-year-old independent film director Park Sung-mi, has attracted well over 500,000 views since it appeared Sunday.

Her posting triggered a deluge of comments. Due to nearly a 75-fold increase in its average daily traffic of 7,000 hits, the website crashed temporarily.

In her post, the director, who produces independent documentaries, demands that the president resign on the grounds of fumbling the rescue operation and promoting policies that put money before lives.

“The president’s role is not consoling the survivors at the scene of the accident. No need to be distracted by trivial things. Do the things only the president can do,” she wrote.

The post continued, “Never have human beings or life been a priority in this country. For the bureaucrats, there are still excuses and things more important than people dying. ‘It’s ok to treat people recklessly,’ is the tacit agenda of this system.”

Director Park continues by blasting those “who were quick to frame the president in consoling the child that lost her parents, who wrote newspaper columns steering the blame away from the president, who branded the uncovered truth as hearsay and who tried to silence the bereaved families helplessly crying out.”

Following that, more than 2,000 other comments were posted on the online bulletin board, either supporting or condemning her original message.

Another post entitled, “The president violated the Constitution,” written by a third-year high school student, appeared later the same day.

She started out by saying that she felt compelled to write, even though doing so may pose threat to her life.

The writer lists parts of the Constitution including, “Article 7, state officials are civil servants and hold responsibility over the citizens;” and “Article 10, the state ensures basic human rights bestowed to individuals and owes a duty to safeguard them;” and “Article 34, the state must prevent disaster and strive to protect citizens from the danger.”

“In all people’s eyes the president clearly violated the Constitution. She must be held accountable as she promised (in swearing the Oath of the Presidential Office before the Constitution),” the student wrote.

There has been an outburst of government-bashing of late as the blame for the disaster is shifting from the individual crewmembers to the heart of the administration.

The deregulation drive and heedless response in the aftermath have drawn severe criticism. The president’s apology, which came two weeks after the accident, has been criticized, and her commitment and sincerity have also been questioned on the website of the presidential office.

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