Terra Nullius – A Question of Ownership

//Terra Nullius – A Question of Ownership

OWNERSHIP OF LAND?

… As a kid growing up in a foreign country, I query the notion of Visa applications for destination approval every time I travel ( with my parents ) …I ask myself the question – Isn’t it the same sun that shines on Australia, or Africa as it does in Singapore? Isn’t the dirt on the ground similar? Be quiet…wait your turn ( it takes hours at the immigration office )

At that time, I had not studied world history or understood the nature of man. Sovereignty and colonisation had not been explained to me then. However, as a young human I did understand what was mine…after all, my little sisters weren’t to touch my toys. Where did I get that idea of ownership?

I don’t know enough about ancient tribes, or civilisations to make a generalised statement. However, I am aware from watching documentaries about remote tribal communities ( unaffected by Western culture ) that most of these communities share everything that’s gathered for food and shelter. Ownership of anything seems unimportant in their lives.

Sovereignty, possession, and to ‘own more’. These traits passed down to us by our recent forefathers discourage us from being people who are inclined to share.

Guess it’s no wonder that our Western society is saturated with antagonism, lacks social cohesion, continues to witness the demise of extended family values, and causes disenchanted segments of our world to form groups to legitimise their own beliefs, ranging from an innocuous yoga group advocating ‘harmony’ to extremists who favour death to all not sympathetic to their religion.

I found this interesting when reading articles about Indigenous culture in Australia:

From this source: https://australianmuseum.net.au/indigenous-australia-the-land

Terra nullius

What is terra nullius?

Terra nullius is a Latin term meaning ‘land belonging to no one’. When colonising Australia, the British Government used this term to justify the dispossession of Indigenous people. The British colonists did not recognise the land was being used as Indigenous people did not use the land in the same way as the British. The British saw no evidence of agricultural, social or religious structure like their own, and therefore incorrectly concluded that Indigenous people did not own the land but simply roamed it. By using the principle of terra nullius, the British Government claimed sovereignty over Australia, ignoring the rights of Indigenous people who had lived there for at least 60 000 years.

“The common law of this country would perpetuate injustice if it were to continue to embrace the notion of terra nullius and persist in characterising the Indigenous inhabitants of the Australian colonies as people too low in the scale of social organisation to be acknowledged as possessing rights and interests in land.”

Justice Brennan of the High Court of Australia.

I sit back…squint…and put my sunnies on

At this point I’ll have to resort to hashtags… #finderskeeperslosersweepers #communismvssocialismvscapitalism #nativetitle #divideandconquer #survivalofthefittest #willtherebeanythingleft #riseofthecorporations #notsolvingtheworldsproblems #notlookingforanswers #justlooking

 

2017-12-15T10:45:59+00:00