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Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,
13 October 2003
This weekend our Baxter detainee friend Ebrahim Sammaki was able to be part of a small commemoration of the Bali bombings while being released from the Baxter detention centre under guard. He attended a memorial service in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens on Sunday where finally some form of justice was afforded to him: to remember his wife Endang, who was killed in the bombing of the Sari nightclub last year. AAP reported:
"...there he paid respects to his wife, Endang, who died in the nightclub explosions a year ago. An Indonesian, she was in Bali visiting a lawyer to discuss her husband's refugee application when the bombs exploded." (Sydney Morning Herald, 13/10)
Lesser known than this was the fact that on Bali during the ceremonies this weekend Ebrahim's two children (Sara, 3, and Sabda, 7) were introduced to Australia's PM John Howard. There were no TV cameras.
What was filmed though, was the moment of John and Jeanette Howard singing the Australian National Anthem - and while the camera's were trained on the PM and his wife, they heartily sang about "boundless plains to share", while the Sydney Morning Herald also reported that "the children are being cared for by relatives in Indonesia after the Australian Government refused to let them visit their father."
I can think of a question put to the PM right now, a question about whether those two events - his singing, and Sara and Sabda being introduced to him, were related at all. This could be a question put on the floor of the Australian Parliament, it could also be a question written in a letter to John Howard.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin WA 6312
phone: 041 70 90 130