Ms Jo Gaha
PO Box 4956
Sydney/ Hong Kong/ Berne, 16 October 2002
We write to you and all our colleagues in the AASW to express our profound sadness over the recent killings in Bali. It is now quite clear that a significant number of the victims are Australian citizens.
Like the many who have died before them in similar attacks these people were entirely innocent, indeed going about their annual holiday or “Australian Right of Passage”.
We know that our colleagues in Australia will be heavily involved in a range of support work both now and in the coming years as people struggle with the reality of their loss. We also know that such a tragedy may have struck very close to home for some. We extend our condolences to all of the family and friends who lost loved ones.
We also want to express our support for the work of the AASW in actively calling for a measured response by the Australian government to this tragedy and also in its stated policy surrounding terrorism and apparent support for military action in Iraq.
Like your colleagues around the world we know that you do not support acts of terrorism wherever they occur, however understand the links between chronic poverty, prejudice, disadvantage and the likelihood that terrorists will find support where it may otherwise have not existed.
These are difficult and unpopular views to voice at times such as these but never the less they must be aired.
Please know that your colleagues in IFSW stand with the AASW in its work.
Imelda Dodds, President
Justina Leung, Vice President Asia-Pacific
Tom Johannesen , Secretary General