ONE of Australia's most controversial political parties, Australia First (AFP), has targeted Wagga refugee advocate John Moi by encouraging the nation's population of southern Sudanese to return home.
Civil war has raged in Sudan on and off for the best part of 40 years but with a referendum currently being held to decide whether South Sudan will gain independence from its northern oppressor, the long-lost ideals of peace and stability in the region are finally on the radar.
Of the many southern Sudanese who have made their homes in Australia after fleeing their country, Mr Moi is one of 9300 registered to vote in the referendum.
He has been vocal in his belief that Australia, where he has been a citizen since 2008, should "support the new-born country in its development", a view responded to by a blog headlined "Will John Moi Go Home?" in which the AFP encouraged him to go back and help the new
country's development himself.
"Aid should be contingent on South Sudan taking these people and assistance should be provided to get these people home," the blog decrees.
"Yet, it is our strong suspicion that having tasted the benefits of free housing, cash gifts, welfare of all sorts, few of these people would be interested in a return to South Sudan.
"And we suspect that Mr Moi won't be leaving either."
Rather than take offence to the view that his countrymen have been freeloading on the generosity of the Australian government since arriving, Mr Moi said the full spectrum of opinions to any given issue was what made Australia, and democracy, great.
He said that having taken a vow to become an Australian citizen, it would not sit right with him to return straight away.
"Personally, I have thought about it," Mr Moi said.
"If the right time for me comes, definitely, I will tell the Australian government I want to return.
"I don't take my being (in Australia) for granted, it's something I treasure very much.
"I'd like to go (to South Sudan) to make my contribution but I think I will always come back - Australia is home."
Saturday, January 8, 2011
"Close to 9300 southerners living in Australia registered to vote. A number of us from Wagga will travel to Canberra to cast our votes. To many southerners, the plebiscite was the best thing that ever happened because this will now resolve internal contradictions; the country of Sudan was in for the last 50 years, 40 of which was spent in civil wars."
Now that Sudan will break into two states, the African south and the Arabised north, the safety of the South Sudan population can no longer be an issue. We wonder: who will return home? will the Australian government encourage these people to return home?
Mr. Moi continued:
"I would like to call on the government of Australia to support the new born country in its development".
Australia First could not agree more except we would add a rider to that: the Sudanese 'refugees' should return home! Aid should be contingent on South Sudan taking these people and assistance should be provided to get these people home.
Yet, it is our strong suspicion that having tasted the benefits of free housing, cash gifts, welfare of all sorts, few of these people would be interested in a return to South Sudan. And we suspect that Mr. Moi won't be leaving either.
For Australia First Party a return home is non-negotiable. The Future Australia will be generous, but the right of the Australian People to identity in our own land is ahead of everything.