An open Letter from the RSL to the QLD Premier
OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER OF QUEENSLAND 6 December 2005 The Hon Peter Beattie MP Premier of Queensland PO Box 15185 City East QLD 4002 Dear Mr Premier I write on behalf of the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) members in regards to the minute.s silence that was observed in Queensland Parliament on Friday 2 December on the occasion of the execution of Nguyen Tuong Van. The RSL was deeply offended and strongly opposed to the Parliamentary move to recognise this event through a one-minute silence and we are extremely disappointed in your leadership in this matter. Our vehement opposition is rooted in the apparent disregard for the concept of silence for remembrance of departed comrades, who have sacrificed their lives and health for the sake our nation. Our members strongly believe the decision to move the moment.s silence showed a complete disregard for the origins of remembrance silence, which is attributed to Australian journalist and returned serviceman, Edward Honey. Honey.s appeal for five silent minutes of national remembrance in 1919 was the beginning of what he described as a .very sacred intercession..communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace.. The concept of remembrance silence remains an essential feature of commemorative services and League functions to this day. No matter how small, members stand in silence for a brief interval to remember their departed comrades. The RSL believes it is totally inappropriate to start using the moment's silence for any other circumstance. To do so otherwise, is offensive to our veterans, war widows, and all those who have lost loved ones in the service of our nation. The fact that Queensland Parliament publicly bestowed the same honour and mark of respect reserved for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, on one who has been convicted of a criminal offence, was insulting and disrespectful. 1/2 Furthermore, as Chairman of the ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee (Queensland) Incorporated, we believe you have a responsibility to uphold the objects of the Association, specifically: - the recognition of the gallant courage displayed by the Australian sons and daughters in fighting for the preservation of liberty and civilisation; and - the commemoration of our fallen and the acknowlegement of the suffering of our wounded. We strongly urge you, as Premier of Queensland, to exercise more appropriate discretion in future to preserve the sanctity of the minute.s silence so it remains as it was intended to be . a very sacred intercession. Lest We Forget. Yours truly, GW Mason State President Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) As an ordinary member (sometimes wrongly mistakenly called a full member which it is but not called that) I although having sympathy with the executed man and his family have to agree that he was not serving his country indeed any country by his actions and as a drug mule does not rate this treatment by our Premier; this was sent to me by the way by friends still serving in our military.