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Letter to Premier of South Australia, by AMHRC

February 4, 2010

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AMHRC Hon Mike Rann MP
Premier of South Australia
GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA 5001

Mr. Rann,
Inflammatory Comments against ethnic Macedonians
We have been made aware of your attendance last year at the 31st Annual “Dimitria Greek Festival” (29/11/09) in South Australia. Upon listening to the speech you delivered to the Greek community at this event, we came to the conclusion that it was inflammatory, bigoted and offensive.
To begin with, you referred to the current President of the Republic of Macedonia as someone who is “stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way”. Your justification for this is that he and the Macedonian government are utilising the symbol of Alexander the Great, in a variety of public projects. We very much doubt that any objectively minded person could agree that this is a ‘dangerous stirring up of trouble’.
However, this was not enough for you Mr. Premier; you then moved on to raise the level of vilification against ethnic Macedonians by making the following assertion to your ethnic Greek audience at the festival: “People sometimes say to me, but why is this important? It is important because no one is entitled to steal another nation’s history or culture; that’s why it’s important”. Premier, you have implied that ethnic Macedonians are thieves and thereby you have provided succour to bigots by vilifying ethnic Macedonians in general.
We shall make use of relevant legislation to ensure that you are held to account for spreading this type of hatred.
Sincerely yours,

George Vlahov
Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee Inc.
Tel/Fax: +61 3 9329 8960
CC: Australian Human Rights Commission
Senator the Hon Chris Evans MP, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Cth)
Hon Michael Atkinson MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs (SA)
South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission
Equal Opportunity Commission South Australia
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Special Broadcasting Corporation (SBS)

Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee
Suite 106, Level 1
55 Flemington Rd
North Melbourne VIC 3051
Tel/Fax: +61 3 9329 8960

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