Where to spend our "Tourist dollars"
In my retirement years, I find experiencing other cultures and travel generally to be one of my great joys. These days though, I am becoming more conscious of the countries I am willing to visit.
I just saw a program on TV regarding the "Balibo five" and was saddened to see that the perpetrators of this murder of our unarmed citizens (although identified by eye-witnesses) go unpunished to this day. In addition, when Indonesia was flung out of East Timor, they virtually destroyed that countries infrastructure in a systematic orgy of violence and vandalism. Likewise, Fiji is now governed by a military junta and some time ago I saw an interview given by the self-appointed Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarana. He indicated that the Fijian people were confused and lacked the knowledge to be able to vote responsibly. He further stated that he had no intention of calling elections until the populace had been educated in the correct way to vote.
I am sure there are many other similar examples and I would suggest that anyone who is travelling abroad should look at the country they intend to visit and ensure that their tourist dollars are not being used to shore up repressive regimes. Wile I enjoy travel in the Asia-Pacific region, I will no longer visit Indonesia, Fiji, Burma etc and I now do some serious research before finalising travel plans. I would be interested in hearing other views on this.