This letter to the Editor appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November uder a ttile that was presumably imposed by the editors
Cricket match is a test of loyalties
The fruits of multiculturalism were again on display at the MCG on Wednesday night. Most of the crowd consisted of people cheering wildly for an Australian defeat, and I venture to suggest virtually all of them were long-term Australian residents, many probably citizens, who have made this country their home.
Obviously, while they have been happy to accept our hospitality, and in many cases purport to have joined the Australian family, their emotional, cultural, civic and sporting loyalty lies elsewhere. Among them were many children, most of whom would have been born in Australia. These Australian-born citizens will grow up feeling loyalty to a country many of them will not even have visited, while believing they owe little or no allegiance to their country of birth.
It may only be cricket, but the crowd’s behaviour reflects much wider problems that extreme multiculturalism has brought us, arising from the fact that approaching a quarter of our population are more attached to their own tribal groups than to our country.
Mass immigration naturally brings problems of conflicting loyalties in the first generation, but multiculturalism has massively exacerbated these problems, and ensured their perpetuation into the second and subsequent generations.
Richard Moss Chisholm (ACT)
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It inspired strong responses and I rpovide a sample of those readers who seem to be fair dinkum Aussies rather than Sri Lankan Aussies — courtesy of Parakrama an avid blooger on http://dilmahforum.cricinfo.com/…. followed by some comments from both Parakrama and Delan who were both at the match.
I suspect Richard Moss is reading things rather too broadly. My many friends of Sri Lankan origin deeply embrace most aspects of being an Australian, but the one thing they will not embrace is the Australian cricket team. The cheers of delight on Wednesday night were payback for the years of arrogant and boorish behaviour of the Australian team, particularly in the Steve Waugh era.While things have improved recently, the fact that Cricket Australia has appointed Matthew Hayden a director shows nothing has really been learnt.
David Kent, Mittagong ****************
One would have to be a chronic xenophobe not to appreciate the Sri Lankan support at the MCG. They did cheer wildly but behaved impeccably, and without them this great arena would have been an empty echo chamber. Who knows, among their number might be a budding Sangakkara, Jayawardene or even a Murali who could one day proudly wear the baggy green. Such a young Australian might still retain affection for the native place of his parents, and who would deny them that (apart from Richard Moss)?
Jack Sumner, Eastwood
In the match I saw, the crowd smiled and cheered wildly, and appeared to have a great time. I didn’t see or hear about any violence or other antisocial behaviour, and everyone was captivated by a remarkable game that could have gone either way on the last ball.It is one of the strengths of multiculturalism that Australian citizens can openly support teams from other countries: I would hate to live somewhere that demanded unquestioning loyalty to the national team.
Michael Cahill Summer Hill *****************
Richard Moss has missed the point of multiculturalism. Did he also write to protest against the Australian-born children wearing their orange shirts at the Australia v Netherlands soccer match? Or the sea of black shirts at the rugby? We are a global society, from all corners of the world, free to celebrate our ”tribal groups” any way we choose.
I was thrilled to see and hear all those wonderful Sri Lankan supporters, proud that we live in such a multicultural society. If they do feel a greater loyalty to their country of origin when it comes to bigger issues than sport (a very debatable point), it would only be because the likes of Richard Moss have made them feel unwelcome.
Amanda Harrison Greenwich
How is it that we play cricket against and have normal relations with Sri Lanka, when boatloads of people from that country are seeking to live in Australia, claiming refugee status because of persecution?
John Pollard West Pymble *************
“Most of responses have highly praised the Sri Lankans for their excellent beheviour at the match in Melbourne. Reading those I’am really proud to be a Sri Lankan. ” Parakrama
Thanks Micahel & Parakrama. Its hard to stop biggotts and idiots!
One thing I will say about the crowd behaviour at the MCG, with a predominately SL supporting crowd it was firstly a great atmosphere for a small crowd…made it seem larger than it was, and secondly the usual Aussie drunken dickheads that come to the cricket to get drunk, cause trouble throw rubbish on field and in air during Mexican wave were all missing for the better.
No doubt the scheduling and aussies lack of form where responsible for this
Wonder if anyone has seen the article at this link:
Prior to Melb game I recieved email that suggested some LTTE supporters were going to be present outside game.
Personally I did not see any of this, but one of my friends who I met at the half-time break said his father and friends were approached outside and offered leaflets and t-shirts. Until I read this article today had no idea of the content.
This is shame and low act but no unexpected. One thing do disagree with the author is that he can’t make the generalisation that all Tamils were supporting Aus. I have a number of Tamil friends that supported our team both at MCG and during Sydney game via TV. Delan II