Heed the tragedy

THE death penalty is a human rights violation, one of many.

I once saw a skeletal infant in Java, sunken eyes rolling back in her head, fluid diarrhoea dripping from the edges of a nappy long past its use by date, her prostituting drug-addicted mother also barely conscious, the duo next to a pile of stinking rubbish.

It smelt like the death that was surely approaching.

My question to all those who �lit a candle� for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran � where is the light in the darkness for that infant?

With a drug-addicted mother and no welfare services or government agencies to step in, that child would never attain even the most basic of human rights.

Perhaps comfortingly we don�t know that child and never will, nor the many, many others who that child represents � those at the bottom of the drugs pyramid.

While Andrew and Myuran, through the media, became personalised and entered our safe bubbles of First World-existence, our ignorance to the horrors they were a part of remain.

Therefore, who are we, living in a privileged Australia, to pass judgment on what is appropriate in Indonesia? In a perfect world there should be no death penalty � my heart bleeds for the families of those two young men.

However, we are a long way from a perfect world: we seek solace in our ignorance, which might make us feel better about ourselves and de-clutter the issue for us. Yet, it is not reality � and certainly not in Indonesia.

Andrew and Myuran were part of an evil entity that has stolen joy, opportunity, hope and life itself from countless Indonesians, and they paid for it with their own lives. It is tragic. It is not for us to judge but it is for us to heed.

Our youth must also heed the warnings, and I question the message we send to them when we are painting such saintlike images of men who very much did wrong.

Name and address supplied.