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Peace and reconciliation through dignity and respect

Peace and reconciliation through dignity and respect

Chile has approached the issue of justice and reconciliation after 17 years of dictatorship through 17 years of progressive and incremental return to a socially focused democracy that is not centred on the market society but on a civil society.

There are lessons to be learnt in the manner in which countries divided through social and political unrest not only rebuild society but extend the notion of the civil and democratic

One of our members, Gastón Arias, was subjected to political exile by the military Junta of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Our member was firstly exiled internally to the psychological and physical isolation and hardship of the south of Chile and later externally to Australia as a political refugee for his active opposition to the illegal regime that overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende.

A program introduced by the Government of Chile offers people whose education was broken by the dictatorship to complete their study. Our member was studying engineering at the time of the military coup, was married and had one year to complete his studies. He is now 65 years old. He is taking up the offer.

The dignity and respect for those who defended democracy is overshadowed by a much more fundamental belief that everyone, irrespective of age should be encouraged to contribute to society by being inquisitive (not acquisitive) and to grow for their whole life through knowledge.

Our member will be upskilling and updating his mind by completing a course in information engineering.

There is no end to what kind of society we can make with just a little imagination and a whole heap of respect.

Congratulations to our arch-peace's engineer Gastón Arias.

Anthony McInneny


Anonymous said...

what an inspiration Anthony, thanks
Rob T.

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