Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan 'ashamed to be an Australian'
London: The 2014 Man Booker Prize awarded to Australian novelist Richard Flanagan has brought back memories of those millions who died during the Second World War in Burma. The literature lovers are once again discussing the "Bridge on the River Kwai", a 1957 Second World War film directed by David Lean, based on the eponymous French novel by Pierre Boulle.
The film "Bridge on the river Kwai" and Richard Flanagan's novel 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' are both about prisoners and captors on the Burma railway.
The Guardian reports that Flanagan said that he is "ashamed to be an Australian" because of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's environmental policies.
Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight program after the award ceremony, the Tasmanian author and committed environmentalist was asked about Abbott's recent comment that "coal is good for humanity". The prime minister made the comment while opening a coalmine in Queensland on Monday.
"I'm very saddened because Australia has the most extraordinary environment and I don't understand why our government seems committed to destroying what we have that's unique in the world," Flanagan said.
"To be frank, I'm ashamed to be Australian when you bring this up."
Flanagan was also asked about the repeal of the Tasmanian forestry peace deal between environmentalists and logging companies last month.
"I genuinely believe that people of Australia want to see these beautiful places, these sacred places, preserved, [but] the politics of the day is so foolishly going ahead and seeking to destroy them when there isn't even an economic base to it, when there is no market for the woodchips that would result from the destruction of these forests," he replied.
"I think it's unnecessary and I think it's just politics being used to divide people that could otherwise be brought together on all that is best and most extraordinary in our country."