Letter / Spare a thought for old refugees

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I AM in agreement with Michael Moore about the fun aspect of the city that is the Multicultural Festival (“Our best is a reminder of the worst”, CN February 18).

quillI was less happy with his claim that our nation is creating refugees, in fact we have sought to defeat the forces that create refugee flows, from the Nazis to the Communists, repressive regimes to the current extremist Islamist movements who seek to create a new order based on an ideal world that existed 1.5 millennia ago.

There are many refugees in UNHCR camps around the world (at least 15 million) who have spent some 20-odd years on average in them (let alone those tens of millions displaced by wars and natural disasters). The oldest refugees are Eritreans who have been in camps since the 1960s. They have the need for resettlement but don’t have the means (ie money) to buy their way to a choice destination. They have been there so long now, their parents have died, they are old, and their children, grandchildren and soon great-grandchildren will be there.

Save a thought for these much longer suffering people. Most people in the world are lovely people who would love to be here in Australia, but they don’t have the money or the publicity. Australia despite some impressions to the contrary is generous in taking refugees for resettlement.

Martin Gordon, Dunlop


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