The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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Indigenous Australians call for ‘week of silence’ after referendum failure

Indigenous Australians have called for a “week of silence” and mourning after a referendum on giving them more political representation was rejected by the country’s white majority. With more than 70 percent of ballots counted on Sunday, about 61 percent of Australians said “no” when asked if the country’s 1901 constitution should be changed to recognise the country’s original inhabitants. Less than 4 percent of Australia’s 26 million people are Indigenous. By voting no, Australians also voted against creating a new consultative body – a “Voice” to Parliament – that could have had a say on issues related to Indigenous affairs in Australia. Indigenous supporters of the Voice said it was “a bitter irony” that “people who have only been on this continent for 235 years would refuse to recognise those whose home this land has been for 60,000” years. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, whose centre-left Labor Party championed the referendum, said “sharing this continent with the oldest continuous culture” was a “source of pride” for Australians. But Albanese looked visibly distressed as he spoke to the nation on Saturday night and called for “a spirit of unity and healing”. For many Indigenous people, the election was a source of additional distress. Indigenous Senator Lidia Thorpe, who opposed the referendum and campaigned for people to vote no, said the nationwide election had “caused nothing but harm to First Peoples”. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), an Indigenous-run health organisation, shared information on mental health resources for people experiencing “increased anxiety and depression” in the wake of the “no” vote. Mental health is one of many areas where Indigenous people in Australia experience disadvantage, adding to a more than sevenyear difference in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Supporters of the failed vote had highlighted the large number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers who supported the campaign. Thomas Mayo, a prominent Indigenous supporter of the Voice, thanked the “many thousands” of volunteers who joined the campaign in the lead-up to the election. aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.