MACEDONIA (UMD) MISINFORMATION
Abalinx Tuesday 15 February 2022 Peter Adamis
UMD stands for United Macedonia Diaspora. A website that creates misinformation, distributes propaganda and literature based on myths, fibs and a reconstruction of ancient history. Their aim is to influence and attract individuals to support them towards their view of distorted history. This is but one of many documents created to give the illusion that they, the UMD are strongly represented in the USA, Canada and in Australia. The publication in its self is damaging if readers, just look at the images alone. The images depict Australian members of parliament who “supposedly” and “allegedly” members of the Australia Macedonia Parliamentary Friendship Group, otherwise known as the AMPFG. Click to download a copy: MACEDONIA (UMD) MYTHS FIBS & LIES
Not only is this a deliberate lie and a fabrication of the truth, the document was brought to the attention of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as to the current Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong. Australians on the whole are a resilient and compassion lot that are tolerant of other cultures and may not always agree with their political representatives, but what Australians do not like is fake news, deception and below the belt antics of individuals and organisations that demonstrate un-Australian activities. In this case the UMD clearly is demonstrating such characteristics.
I do not wish to go into the issues regarding the reasons for and against, but I can state that the matter of the name (Macedonia) has been debated and fought over numerous times in the tabloids, online discussions, protests in the streets, aggression on both sides and in some cases vandalism and damage to property. Such negativity is not tolerated in the Australian society as they are not compatible with our Australian values. I am sure that the relevant Members of Parliament whose names appear as part of the alleged “Friendship Group” would be amused and interested to see how they have been misrepresented.
I do however remember during the early nineteen nineties when Peter Jasonides was President of the Pan Macedonian Association of Victoria who was incensed at the misrepresentation of Alexander the Great and his association with Hellas. These emotional protests by both sides have continually flared up in the past decade, attracting unwilling spectators and members of Australian society to choose between one side or the other. (Following these protests, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued an interesting publication date 22 November 1995 outlying the collapse of Yugoslavia.) The protests and aggression did not go down well and both sides were brought into line by the relevant authorities at the time. Despite the publicity and the activity surrounding the Prespa Agreement between the Slavic North (The Former Republic of Yugoslavia – [FYROM]) and that of the Hellenic Republic in the South; the agreement on both sides throughout the Diaspora have been mixed. It would appear that neither side is happy with the agreement and yet efforts are made to make it work.
The online digital misinformation, propaganda by the Slavic Diaspora is also present on billboards around Melbourne displaying the Star of Vergina, a Hellenic symbol. In November 2021 a delegation entering Hellas for Immigration studies was refused entry into Hellas gained worldwide attention. To enter Greece from Macedonia by air must be through Venizelos Airport in Athens.
The reason for this is for security purposes as well as additional Health related policies relating to the Corona Virus pandemic. Such attention has distracted both sides from working together towards a peaceful and diplomatic relationship between neighbouring nations. I suspect that the ongoing distribution of false information and the protests that flare occasionally are to ensure that the matter is not laid down to rest.
One member of Australian society has taken it upon himself to bring this matter to the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs and that of the Office of Senator Penny Wong the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their part have made their point of view clear on these matters. Whether this hold trues remains to be seen. Sam Kostoulias, an Australian of Hellenic heritage has taken it upon himself to highlight the inconsistencies that continue to appear on social media, electronic media and on Billboards and literature. Furthermore, Sam has also brought these matters to the attention of the Hellenic Consulate General located in Melbourne.
Sam Kostoulias is concerned that if the relevant Australian Government Department to fail to act in accordance with international agreements, that it may attract further unrest and society becomes complacent and believes the myths, fibs and distortion of history by the organisations such as the United Macedonia Diaspora.
Peter Adamis is a writer, freelance journalist and a retired Australian veteran. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning and Development and a post-graduate degree in Environmental Occupational Health and Safety. Website: Abalinx
THE UMD DOCUMENT.
“AUSTRALIA – MACEDONIA. Since UMD’s inception in 2004, Macedonian-Australians have played an important role in setting the foundations for the creation of a leading professional grassroots civil society organisation. UMD hopes to build upon this proud tradition in the years ahead by attracting the best and brightest volunteer grassroots activists in Australia. In particular, young and established professionals who have the capacity and the passion to advance the interests of our community in Australia and internationally.
While UMD has its international headquarters in Washington D.C, Australian operations have been a great focus of attention given that Australia is home to one of the largest émigré populations of Macedonians outside of Macedonia with approximately 250,000-300,000 strong. Having arrived in waves since the early 1900s, the Macedonian community in Australia is the bedrock for relations between Australia and their ancestral homeland, Macedonia.
UMD Australia is a registered incorporated association based out of Melbourne, Victoria.
To learn more about the history, goals, and challenges of the Macedonian community in Australia, we invite you to read the August 2012 Report published by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project entitled “The Macedonian Diaspora in Australia: Current and Potential Links with the Homeland.” Please click HERE to download the report.
VOLUNTEER FOR UMD AUSTRALIA. UMD Australia is aware that a growing number of Macedonian-Australians of all ages and friends of the community are interested and available to advance the Macedonian cause by supporting one or more UMD programs. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and contribute to the better development of our community, Australia, Macedonia, and the bilateral relations between both nations.
The benefits of volunteering include knowing that you can make a difference to the Macedonian cause, as well as meeting many interesting, well-established members of our community, and participating in great networking events. Volunteers can work on a whole range of campaigns and projects, assisting with educational campaigns, implementing community development projects, media relations and so forth. Volunteering opportunities exist in: Community Engagement, Government Relations, Media, Campaigns, Youth Affairs, and Leadership Development. If interested in volunteering, please email [email protected]
AUSTRALIA MACEDONIA PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP. The role of the Australia Macedonia Parliamentary Friendship Group (AMPFG) is to promote closer, better quality and more meaningful relations with the Republic of Macedonia and its diaspora in Australia through innovative and high impact policies, programs, projects and events that deliver better social, economic and environmental outcomes for all key stakeholders. Below is a list of members and friends of the AMPFG:”
Dr. Aly MP, Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Carol Brown, Senator David Bushby, Terri Butler MP, Nick Champion MP, Lisa Chesters MP, Sharon Claydon MP, Hon Michael Danby MP, Senator Sam Dastyari, Steve Georganas MP, Peter Khalil MP, Tim Hammond MP, Jones MP, Hon Dr M Kelly AM, MP, Senator Chris Ketter, Hon Richard Marles MP, Cathy McGowan AO, MP, Senator Bridget McKenzie, Brian Mitchell MP, Rob Mitchell MP, Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Julie Owens MP, Senator Stephen Parry, Senator Helen Polley, Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Tony Smith MP, Susan Templeman MP, Maria Vamvakinou MP, Andrew Wallace MP, Senator Murray Watt, Senator the Hon Penny Wong.
United Macedonian Diaspora (202) 350-9798 | [email protected]
United Macedonian Diaspora (202) 350-9798 | Built by Reborn Studios
The document may be found at the following link: https://umdiaspora.org/cpt_services/advocacy-2/