Australian Sri Lanka bomb victims offered compensation

Source:-The Guardian

Suicide bombings on 21 April declared a terrorist act so Australians can seek one-off payment of up to $75,000

 The aftermath of an explosion at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 21 April. Photograph: Getty Images

Australian residents who were injured or lost a family member in the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka can apply to the federal government for compensation.

The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, said on Sunday the eight suicide bombings on 21 April have been declared a terrorist act for the purpose of the Australian victim of terrorism overseas payment scheme.

“The scheme ensures Australian victims of terrorist events overseas, such as the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, have access to financial support,” he said.

“The declaration of these attacks means that Australian residents who were harmed or lost a close family member … may seek a one-off payment of up to $75,000.”

The Sri Lankan bombings targeted churches and hotels. More than 253 people died and more than 485 were injured.

“We condemn those responsible for the horrific terrorist attacks on innocents and have extended our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and injured, and to the government and people of Sri Lanka,” Dutton said.

The government has also declared the 25 August 2007 attack in Hyderabad, India, a terrorist act for the purposes of the scheme.

Two almost simultaneous bombings occurred at a restaurant and an amusement park in Hyderabad, killing 42 people and injuring more than 50.

The declaration of these attacks brings the total number of overseas terrorist acts declared by the Australian government for the purposes of the scheme to 42.

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They say that “history repeats itself”. Well, for just a while there, the Australian Government did stop the boats from illegally entering this great brown Land, so enticing to thousands of refugees from all over the World. Lately, IN the Country (called the Lucky Country, by many people), we have had different problems to deal with, including, for example, the “homeless” folk, both old and young, many varied Royal-Commissions, left, right, & centre, the Adani Mine, and a potentially impossible loss of a term of  Government,  by the present Opposition or Labor Party, in the General Election held very recently. NOTHING is really impossible, and well, Labor not only “lost”, but lost comprehensively. So, this means that, for the next three years, we now have a “majority” Liberal/ National Party to run the lucky Country & stop any unlucky happenings, hopefully, (he says).

     Firstly, let us concentrate on the “Homeless People”, homeless in a Country that should have NONE!. The problem here is that some of the “older” homeless folk, seem to prefer it this way. No mortgages to pay off, no taxes, a fortnightly centre-link payment, still coming their way, free meals provided regularly, by worthwhile charity groups in almost all Suburbs, then, to bed, in parks, on benches, or in Railway Station waiting rooms, to wake up and start the process all over again. Most of the “oldies” don’t seem to care about the weather either. A “case in point” was one gent who I will never forget. Driving to work as a Security Guard at the A.M.P. building in Melbourne, together with Arthur, a friend who worked the same night shift with me, we noticed this old guy, getting ready for bed on a park bench in South Yarra. It was late Autumn, and a bitterly cold night. When we stopped at the traffic lights, I noticed that this bloke did not even have an old rug or blanket to cover himself, but lay down on this hard wooden park bench with a couple of old cardboard cartons under his head, and I felt a rush of pity for this guy, so I said to Arthur that I had a couple of warm, clean trench coats that we could offer this bloke if we saw him again, the following night. Of course, we did. There he was, and I told Arthur to take the coats to him, while I waited, until he came back, parked momentarily with motor running, so we wouldn’t be late to work. Arthur came back a couple of minutes later with the trench coats still in hand, looking agitated & angry.
I asked him what happened and he said that this old guy told him, what he, (Arthur) could do with his coats.
“What the hell do you think I am, a bloody hobo” ?, he had asked Arthur. So, that was the first and last time I offered any “hobo” any help. Arthur felt the same way, I’m sure.
As for the younger homeless (mostly males), I believe, one solution could be that the Government take them over, give them some “barracks” to live in,  clothe them in uniform, shelter them and train them to fight for Australia, if the need arises. There is NOTHING wrong with being in the Armed Forces. Speaking with personal experience from serving for 8+ years in the Royal Ceylon Navy, I was not only “NOT HOMELESS” but had some very valuable lessons in strict DISCIPLINE, sadly lacking in Australia, at the moment. There is no need ESPECIALLY, for the YOUNG TEENAGERS to be homeless in Australia. IF they do not wish to fight for their Country, send them over to Country Suburbs, where jobs go a-begging far too often. Country Employers keep looking for young Aussies to employ, but have to end up employing refugees and back-packers, because Aussies want to hand-pick their jobs.  NOT ON!!. 
     Royal-commissions, mainly regarding the Banks in Australia, are “full-on” so to speak, and deservedly so, given the treatment meted out to their customers. The Aldi Mine is now being given the green light & like it or loathe it, this Indian Conglomeration will provide thousands of jobs for the Aussie People who look forward to having a job. As long as the little black-throated finch is also looked after, it looks like a good move. 
     And so we move on to the Refugee Boat Problem (again).Even as I write this,  Minister Peter Dutton is in Sri Lanka, on a lightning visit, to speak to his Counter-part over there about the refugee-boats carrying more Sri Lankans heading for Australia. Right now, one boat carrying 20 persons has already been  apprehended, but another 3 boats have been “arranged” by these people smugglers, the ONES that Mr Dutton & his staff should concentrate on, I feel. For reasons best known to themselves, these refugees
give up everything they have, risking their very lives, to leave their Country. I feel very sorry for them, but they have to be told, and made to understand that their chances of entering Australia illegally is steadily becoming impossible. They are not only risking their own lives, they are risking the lives of their children as well. Why they keep doing this, I’ll never know. These, already poor people, end up as beggars in Lanka, after selling everything they have, just to pay these people smugglers to help them, possibly kill themselves.
These are the culprits that Peter Dutton should try his utmost to eradicate. People-Smugglers are rife, throughout Asia, and the sooner they are arrested, tried for attempted murder (which it is),and jailed accordingly, the better.
Desmond Kelly
Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in-Chief). eLanka.
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