Antany Peter


MY STRUGGLES AS A WRITER IN AUSTRALIA

I have been writing to make awareness nationally and internationally about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ hardships and refugees’ harsh life in detention centres. I wrote many letters to the federal and state ministers about their awful treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the outback; and refugees in the detention centres. Due to my writings, I was intimidated and threatened. 

In 2004 I was banned from my university for six months under a false accusation while I was making students aware of the government’s harsh treatment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and refugees’ harsh life in detention centres. Fortunately, other students stood with me; eventually, the University allowed me to sit for my final semester Business degree exams under the university security guards. I still passed all the final semester subjects with distinction and credits without attending lectures and tutorials. 

In 2008 my house was searched by more than ten police officers under a false accusation. I asked the police offers for a reason. I was told that they have a search warrant but can’t reveal the reason. My Australian citizenship certificate and passport were disappeared from my house after the house search. Following day, I had a call from the detention centre and told I was an illegal immigrant in Australia and the officers will come and take me to the detention centre.

I quickly went to the immigration and citizenship department to prove my legal status. I was told that they had no information about me. I showed my expired passport. The front officers could not believe their eyes. Took my expired passport to show to their manager. The manager came and told me that they have no information in the system but suggested me to check with the passport office. I went to the passport office, again I was told no information in the system. When I showed my expired passport, I was told that I may have obtained it illegally. 

Obviously, the government stole my documents during the house search and deleted my details in the system. My citizenship certificate no: ME9701311V, issued on 26/03/1997 has disappeared from the system; still, the Australian government hasn't given a reason. I wrote to the United Nations, and to the other countries' leaders about the government’s cruel action. Due to international pressure, the government quietly reinstated my citizenship, without giving a reason or apology. As soon as my citizenship was reinstated, I applied for a passport and left the country.

When I made awareness internationally, the Australian government not only stopped me from getting a job, but it even stopped me from selling my house, which led me to file for bankruptcy. The government has accomplished its goal; it has successfully damaged my character and removed me from my professional job as an illegal immigrant. Took my house away and brought me to the street. Twelve years have gone by; still, nobody would take my case to fight for justice. However, the government never fails to preach democracy to the world, especially to China. 

Worst of all, the government has started to attack my health quietly, to get rid of myself to cover its wrongdoings. Basically, the government is chasing its losses; in fact, it is at a loss when it comes to dealing with me. For the last twelve years, I have been raising awareness across the world of the Australian Government’s ill democracy. It makes one wonder what the Australian Government would do for enlightening others about its undemocratic actions. 

The Australian Government wanted to achieve something radical, so it has been isolating me through its propaganda. Since l had returned to Australia in November 2017, I was isolated, and my health has been targeted. Between 2008 and 2017 I have lived a healthy life in many places around the world, and I did not need to see a doctor. Between 2008 and 2017 I lived in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. 

However, since returning to Australia, my health has been affected. Since I landed, I was forced to say in a youth hostel in Melbourne. Within a few days of landing in Australia, I was admitted to a hospital. A few months later I broke my right arm through a low impact injury, due to osteopenia. Since April 2018 I have consulted three doctors in Australia, and they all have confirmed that I would not have lost vitamin D so quickly unless something unusual has happened to my body. 

Notably, before arriving in Australia I spent two years in the North of Sri Lanka, soaked up plenty of sunlight while I was doing gardening at my parents’ house. Clearly, I had enough vitamin D in my body before I had arrived in Australia; it is obvious to me that the Australian Government has been targeting my health. I believe that someone had mixed something with my food which I kept in the common fridge at the youth hostel. The other backpackers were told do not eat if I share my food. It is clear to me that only the government has money and power to go this far.

According to my experience as a writer, the Australian Government’s primary focus is to keep its white supremacy. Anything else is secondary, including democracy and human rights. Otherwise, the Australian Government would not have deleted my citizenship for raising awareness of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ hardships and refugees’ harsh life in detention centres or attack my health for the enlightening international community. 

The Australian Government has been insulting the public and intellectual community by keeping me in isolation. As a human being, I would not do to the others what the government has been doing to me. ‘I do not focus on the hardships that I face due to the actions that I have taken towards the injustice, but only on my dream that the injustice will turn to justice in due time.’ This is my own quote, and it gives me courage and strength to carry-on, no matter what circumstances I am going through; even though I have been facing extreme censorship and financial hardship.

Everything was taken from me due to my writings. I cannot even get a professional job to own or rent a property in Australia. I was living in shared accommodation and ended up having coronavirus. My health is going downhill and the government has no concern whatsoever. I wrote two letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sent those letters through registered post. However, no reply from the Prime Minister's office. Notably, the government is too busy fear-mongering the prospective employers and the public about me through its propaganda. 

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