Australian Greens to call for War Crimes Probe

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 June 2010, 07:24 GMT]
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young is set to put forward a motion in parliament this week urging the Australian Government to lobby the U.N to investigate alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Citing a recent report by the ICG that highlighted the complicity of Sri Lankan Government and military officials in atrocities committed during the final stages of armed conflict and Australia’s role as an “active member state of the United Nations”, the motion has been praised by Tamil circles in Australia.

The motion, expected to be put forward on June 24th, comes amid mounting pressure on the Australian Government to adopt a pro-active stance in the Sri Lankan situation. The country has been criticised in recent months for foregoing its humanitarian obligations under international law after placing a freeze on claims of asylum by Tamil and Afghan refugees, a move widely seen as politically motivated in light of upcoming federal elections.

Tamils For Greens, a national advocacy group launched in recent weeks endorsing the Greens party, have applauded the motion and have urged the Government to adhere to its humanitarian obligations.

“The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and International Crisis Group have all called for an independent investigation into war crimes. Regrettably Australia is continuing to put its trade and economic interests with Sri Lanka before human rights” said Tamils for Greens spokesperson Nathan Sri.

“Despite the Sri Lankan Government’s claims to the contrary, an independent inquiry into war crimes is vital in holding those responsible for the massacre of civilians. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must start showing leadership and speak out against the injustices which last year alone, left up to 40 000 Tamils dead” said Nathan Sri.

The motion, initially scheduled for release on Monday June 21st, has been shifted to the 24th of June.

NOTICE OF MOTION

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young I give notice that, on Monday 21 June, I shall move:

That the Senate

(a) Notes

i) The recent report from the International Crisis Group on War Crimes in Sri Lanka

ii) This report, recommends, among other things, for the United Nations to authorise an independent international inquiry into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during the last year of the conflict

(b) Calls on the Australian Government, as an active member state of the United Nations, to encourage the UN to investigate the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.


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