Call for peace studies, not festivals

THE MILLIONS of dollars that will be spent on festivals for the centenary of the Anzacs should be diverted to studies of peace, according to Tasmania's representative of the Queen. 

Governor Peter Underwood used his address at the Hobart Anzac Day service to warn of glorifying war, and to urge Australia to learn why it has been involved in so many conflicts.

``Until we find the truth we cannot begin to pay proper homage and respect to those who fought in that terrible conflict 100 years ago, and the many others who subsequently fought in other wars when called upon to do so by their country,'' Governor Underwood said.

Governor Underwood labelled this century as ``man kind's greatest century of violence'', and rejected the expenditure of millions of dollars to embark upon wars.

He  said Australia needed to drop the ``sentimental myth Anzac Day has attracted''.

Despite past conflicts, the Governor said Australia had kept ``sending men and women into the business of killing and being killed.''

``We should remember and honour all of them, for they went to where they had no wish to go and did what they had no wish to do, because they believed they had to do so in order to keep us peace and freedom,'' Governor Underwood said.

But he said remembrance and honour would ``neither bring nor preserve the peace for which they thought they died''.

Governor Underwood said the centennial should be spent as a ``year of peace'' to examine and talk about the causes of war.

``We should spend less time studying Simpson's donkey and more time looking at why we were fighting in Afghanistan for so long,'' he said.

The Governor said Australia should establish an Anzac Centre to honour the memory of the original Anzacs by working towards an understanding of conflict and how it can be reduced.

RSL Tasmania branch deputy president Terry Roe said while it was important to remember past wars, there needed to be continued discussion about how Australia could avoid future conflict.

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