Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sorry!

Today Kevin Rudd - Australia's Prime Minister said sorry to the Aboriginies of Australia - a hot topic in our country for many years with John Howards denial in making of a public apology to the aboriginies of our country.

small part of K. Rudds speach.."We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry. We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation."....

I am sorry that these injustices occured and could never imagine being taken from my family, or being a mother not able to have contact with my children, not knowing my history or my culture, being faced with injustices because of the colour of my skin or the family I was born into. Not having free choices, readily available housing, education or health. I am sorry that anyone has had to live through these things. I am sorry if I have ever been discrimative, or injust in my actions and do my best to respect each individual for who they are as a person not where they come from, what they look like or for thier past.

I can at times be ignorant and apologies for this. I hope that the words sorry will be the begining of change and that these words are followed with the actions promised. I hope that other countries can say sorry to the oppressed and work towards creating a world which is peacefull and safe for all who inhabit it - including all animals




Happy Valentines Day!

3 comments:

Charles Letterman said...

The Australian government has made a formal apology for the past wrongs caused by successive governments on the indigenous Aboriginal population. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, apologised to all Aborigines for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss". But the Aborigines want more. They want money and are calling the apology a 'cut-price sorry'.

Back in 1998, in a meeting with Tony Blair, the Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto offered "an expression of deep remorse and heartfelt apology to the people who suffered in the Second World War". But Britain's war veterans wanted more. They had been hoping for an apology from the entire government as well as further compensation on top of that received in 50 years ago.

Two years ago Tony Blair expressed his "deep sorrow" for Britain's role in the slave trade. But representitives of those with ancestors victimised by the slavery wanted a formal apology (which Blair ruled out) and, of course, financial compensation.

So what's the point? Most country's governments have been violent and oppressive at some time in their history. Where does the guilt stop?

In fact, all of these apologies are meaningless. The groups are obviously resigned to their martyrdom, and nothing short of a financial pay-out will really satisfy them. And no modern day leader has the right to apologise for wrongs committed by previous generations anyway, however horrific.

My suggestion is that these powerful governments concentrate on dealing with the poverty and oppression happening around the world this very minute, rather than worrying about past misdemeanours that are cemented into history, and impossible to correct.

www.charlesletterman.com

Rabiya Limbada said...

Hi Sarah..My name is Rabiya Limbada and I am a journalist on a BBC World Service radio programme called, World Have Your Say. We will be talking about exactly this subject on Thurs 14th February and I would really like you to take part. Please send me an email with your contact number to rabiya.Parekh@bbc.co.uk and I will give you a call back with more details about the programme..You can also cehck out our blog, worldhaveyoursay.com

Many thanks...Rabiya x

Sarah C said...

Your words are very articulate and much more educated than my own – my blog is not for political bandstand (Well I guess I have put it into a public space for all to comment) but for personal feelings and generally craft and family life – my education is in child care and what little knowledge I have of the world is what I have learnt off little research, my life experiences, and an often misguided/one sided media– thank you for your comment – you have every right to express your own opinions and beliefs.

I have to agree with you that the biggest need is that governments concentrate on dealing with poverty and oppression happening around the world at this very minute and that these issues of past will never be changed and have happened and nothing can change what has happened – but as an individual and a government we can be sorry for these past actions and help rectify them by changing the future.

The word sorry means nothing unless it is followed through with action which includes remorse – I did not personally inflict any injustices onto any aboriginal people and in fact my history is in that of the New Zealand governments and the Maori people– I am however able to have empathy for the aboriginal people of our country and have some feeling of sadness for incidences which have happened to them in the past which have caused grief, displacement or sorrow– however I can not truly know their true pain or experiences. I am not aboriginal and have not had the experiences of an aboriginal person.

As with any group - there will be people who are positive and making their lives better for the future no matter what, there are those who wallow in the pain and suffering and are unable to move forward due to whatever reason, there are those who want revenge and those who simply will never be happy. We humans are complex creatures and each with their own complexities. I myself have been a mixture of all of these at differing times in my life.

I do not agree that a future government can not say sorry for wrongs committed by past government…when a criminal act is committed often other family members are the ones to apologies even though it was not them who committed the crime – they are showing empathy and an understanding of the pain and sincerely remorseful for the actions committed by a family member.

I believe that compensation is warranted – compensation to rebuild the hurts, relocate missing family members, to help rebuild communities/culture etc. – I do not believe that handing over money is the answer but providing the resources necessary to achieve this is.

Unfortunately grief, suffering and loss due to government decisions will continue to be in the futures of many people around the world – it is the nature of humans to use power in ways which benefit themselves and their loyalties – war has been in our past and I believe will be our future. I too use my little wealth to the benefit of my family and have been judgemental and unjust, but I can hope, I can apologies when I have caused suffering and be remorseful in my future actions, I can try to help others where I can and be open to the people I meet in my daily lives no judgment past.

Regard Sarah