Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Aborigines Revere Ayres Rock

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Aborigines Revere Ayres Rock

Article excerpt

In your article "Summitof an Aborigine battle for respect" (Feb. 18), yourreference tothe Australian government's "refusal to apologize formally for past government mistreatment of Aborigines" needssome conciliatory explanation.

The apology demanded by Aborigines refers toa long-past government's well-meant action in forcibly removing Aborigine children from their families in order to provide them with a better education anda healthier upbringing. In more recent times that past government action has been seen by Aborigines as an attack on their culture, and the children involved are now referred to as "the lost generation."

During the past 40,000 years, the Australian Aborigines were forced tosurvive in a harsh land. Because the land itself was their only source of sustenance, they had to carefully treasure its meagre supply.Their land itself therefore became to them an object of worship and they preserved certainportions of their land as sacred sites.The national icon, Ayres Rock, or Uluru,has long been one of them.The Aborigines deserve respect from all visitors to their sacred sites.

Ron Walker Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia

Preparing for the college essay

Regarding your article "Personal essays, from pathetic to poetic" (Feb. 8): SAT prep courses were bound to be joined in the marketplace by college application essay coaching services.College essay coaching seems egregious and certainly accessible to upper- income families.But even while the market produces test-prep services and essay coaching, the public sector produces free public schools, free libraries, and, we can now say, nearly free Internet, that offer any child and his or her parents opportunities to get prepared for college without paying high Kaplan or Princeton Review fees at the last minute.

Any child has 17 or 18 years to make sure he doesn't fall behind by 10 steps, and parents, schools, and public programs are there to help.

Al Magary San Francisco

Benetton's death-row campaign

Your article "A wish list for the 21st century" (Feb. …

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