Saturday, April 22, 2006


Concerns over veterans' orange Anzac protest
The Returned and Services League (RSL) is concerned about a protest which could see some veterans wear orange during next week's Anzac Day marches.
The protest is being stirred up by veterans of several conflicts who say they have been abandoned by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Paul Dignan says a departmental psychological evaluation has diagnosed him with chronic combat post traumatic stress disorder directly related to his service in East Timor.
But he says for the past 10 months the Department has refused to either accept the report or his claim for compensation.
Mr Dignan says the protesters will march as normal on Anzac Day, wearing something orange.
"The veterans who are allowed to march will simply march wearing an orange armband," he said.
"Some may prefer to wear an orange baseball cap type of thing and we will march with our units as we have done for years."
But the the RSL's South Australian president Jock Statton says Anzac Day is an inappropriate time for the protest.
"I believe the only reason they are doing it is because they haven't got enough support to make their demonstration stand out," he said.
"They are taking the opportunity of when Australians really feel for veterans to put across their point."
But Mr Dignan disagrees he says the orange protest is a responsibility.
"Not just a right, we have a responsibility to protest on Anzac Day. A responsibility as Australians this is not right and it's not fair," he said

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