Politics of division, exclusion dominate Sri Lankan polity- Australian MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 September 2005, 18:31 GMT]
“Minorities [in Sri Lanka] have progressively seen their rights eroded through ingrained discrimination and segregation... Racism and fear is fostered. It is the politics of division, exclusion and misrepresentation, with the truth hidden from the outside world,” said Australian Member of Parliament for Strathfield, New South Wales, Ms Virginia Judge, during the first session of the 53rd parliament on 15 September in a stinging indictment of the Government of Sri Lanka.

Virginia JudgeMs Judge returned from Sri Lanka last week after a fact finding mission to different parts of Sri Lanka including the NorthEast to research a suitable project for funds raised here after the tsunami to assist victims.

She said that although she “experienced first hand a concerted campaign” to prevent her from visiting the NorthEast, she was able to visit parts of NorthEast where she said: “[I] was able to witness for myself the suffering of this proud people as well as their determined efforts to rebuild their community. The Tamils are a resilient people. I observed that in a remarkable three year period the Tamils developed a virtual state within virtual state within the north and north-east of Sri Lanka.”

“I visited their judiciary and court, school of law, police station, police academy, medical and technical colleges and small industries, a community bank plus a children's home housing 278 children left orphaned by the war and the recent tsunami. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) runs a variety of development, relief and reconstruction projects as well as assisting several non-government organisations with their projects. All this is a tribute to the spirit and resilience of the Tamil people,” she said.

She urged the Sri Lanka Government to give up its “monopoly of power,” by working towards a federal structure that guarantees the rights of the Tamils by working within the CFA brokered by the Norwegian Government.

 

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