Message to the people of Norway

July 26, 2011

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) has expressed its greatest sympathy to the people of Norway in the wake of the tragic events that occurred in Oslo and the Utoya youth camp on Friday.

PAHSMA Chair Barry Jones has written to the Australian Ambassador in Norway asking that solidarity, sympathy and loving support be conveyed to the people of Norway, its Government and the organisers of the youth camp at Utoya.

“Port Arthur has particular empathy for the victims and their families because of our deep memory of the massacre of 28 April 1996 in which a lone gunman murdered 35 visitors to the site and injured many others on a sunny Sunday afternoon,” Dr Jones said in his letter.

“Norway’s beauty also has haunting similarities to Tasmania with its isolation, rugged contours and forests.

“The robustness of Norwegian democracy, the rule of law, commitment to peace and universal values are factors which we admire you for and, in large part, try to emulate.

“The personal grief caused by last Friday’s atrocity will long be remembered as a terrible example of human cruelty, arrogance, violence and narcissism.”

He said Norway was essentially attacked for its values – but the values would triumph and reinforce the country’s solidarity.