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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

Sydney's racial violence: a warning from Sri Lanka

[b]Sydney's racial violence: a warning from Sri Lanka[/b]

The working class in Australia and internationally must take serious warning from the racial violence that erupted in the suburbs of Sydney on December 11. The events of that day reveal how base racialist instincts are aroused and manipulated by the political establishment to further its broader agenda of destroying the democratic rights of all working people, irrespective of their background.

An isolated incident involving a youth of Lebanese descent and a surf lifesaver at North Cronulla beach was blown out of all proportions to incite racist violence against anyone of Middle Eastern appearance. This was no spontaneous outburst. In the week following the initial episode, right-wing media commentators whipped up an atmosphere of racial hysteria setting the stage for what we in Sri Lanka, tragically, have seen too many times—a vicious communal mob.

Who was the main beneficiary? None other than Prime Minister John Howard and his Liberal government, which is notorious for stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment and fears of terrorist attack to divert attention from its own regressive economic and social program.

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