Aussie MPs attend Pararajasingham memorial event
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 02:22 GMT]
Several Australian parliamentarians and representatives from humanitarian agencies attended a memorial meeting to pay tribute to the slain Tamil Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham held on at the Homebush Boys High School auditorium, Sydney Australia organized by Tamil Australians on 22nd January.
Mr Laurie Ferguson, MP
Ms Virginia Judge, MP
Ana Pararajasingham, Chairman of the Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA), welcomed the guests at the beginning of the evening event.
John Murphy, the Federal Member of Australian Parliament for the seat of Lowe, Ms Louise Markus, Federal Member for the seat of Greenway and a member of the ruling Liberal Party, Mr. Laurie Ferguson, Federal Member for Reid, and Ms Virginia Judge, member for Strathfield, Amnesty International’s NSW Executive Council Committee representative, Ms Marie Clugston, Rev John Barr, Executive Secretary, Uniting International Mission, Australian Uniting Churches, and several members of the Tamil community spoke at the meeting.
"I was shocked to hear of the assassination of Mr Joseph Pararajasingham whom I met last May when he visited Australia. I was deeply moved by his courage in exposing the atrocities committed against his people despite threats to his life... He was not only a brave man but also most importantly a man committed to the truth and prepared to pay the price for it, said Mr Murphy.
Ms Markus who had also met Mr Pararajasingham said that "it is tragic that his family, community and a nation has lost a man committed to serving his people in such tragic circumstances."
Mr. Ferguson expressed his deep disappointment that the Australian Government had yet to take a more pro-active role in the peace process in Sri Lanka.
Ms Virginia Judge who has visited Vanni and have seen the daily struggle of the people, denounced the killing and read a poem she composed for the event: "In silky soil at Visvamadu
Spirits rest in tombs stark white
Brass plaques soon to list their lives
A solder's ultimate sacrifice
An at dawn your eyes open wide
The dream is over, freedom your prize
The tear dissolves at last and merges
Every step lighter be for all
Tamil Eelam, your homeland, your toil"
The meeting concluded with Rev. John Jegasothy, a friend of Mr Pararajasingham, recounting his experience growing up with him in Batticaloa. A booklet, “Ground Realities” containing several articles on the current situation in Sri Lanka published in the memory of Mr Pararajasingham was also released at the meeting