Australian politicians troubled by deteriorating conditions in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 August 2009, 08:54 GMT]
A group of Australian parliamentarians have expressed concern for the plight of thousands of refugees being held in Sri Lankan military run camps at a meeting with members of the Tamil youth at Parliament House on Tuesday. In a free flowing discussion covering conditions faced by displaced civilians and a lack of independent access to refugee facilities, the panel also condemned reports of intimidation directed at the Tamil Diaspora from the Sri Lankan Government, before citing the promised resettlement of the 300,000 refugees within a 6 month period as the basis for future engagement.

In an hour long meeting, the parliamentarians discussed at length various concerns raised by a youth delegation headed by Vishna Sivaraj and Seran Sribalan, who had been welcomed just minutes after completing a 300km walk over eight days from Sydney to Canberra to raise awareness of the imprisonment of Tamil refugees in military run camps.

The politicians shone a critical eye over recent actions carried out by the Sri Lankan Government, including the blocking of the Vanangama Mercy Mission, an aid ship organised by members of the Tamil Diaspora to deliver essential goods to thousands of refu'gees that was turned away by authorities.

“This should be of great concern to all of us because we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence. If you can’t get food and medical aid to the people who so desperately need it, we have got to speak out against it” said MP John Murphy.

Responding to a letter he received highlighting the Sri Lankan Government's threats of arresting anyone who was seen speaking out against authorities upon return to Sri Lanka, MP Murphy said: “We are very concerned, at the heart of what we want to do here in Australia is ensure that human rights and dignity of those people are preserved, and if we are getting a message now that the government now don’t even want the Diaspora of the world speaking out for the poor people...this gravely concerns us as parliamentarians”.

Discussing possible avenues for future action, the delegation, consisting of Senators Mark Furner and Claire Moore, and Members of Parliament Jill Hall, Laurie Ferguson, John Murphy and Julie Owen, cited Mahinda Rajapakse's seemingly doomed pledge to resettle civilians detained in government camps within 6 months as the basis for higher level discussions with Australian Foreign Minister Steven Smith.

The ministerial representatives also praised the efforts of Vishna and Seran for their inspiring dedication and resolve in raising awareness of the issue, describing the Tamil Diaspora as “fine citizens who have made invaluable contributions to Australian society”.

canberra meeting 2

Related Articles:
20.08.09   Global vigilance needed amid Sri Lanka’s post war rhetoric: ..
26.07.09   Resettlement of IDPs within 180 days not possible – SL Minis..
06.06.09   Sri Lanka refuses to allow Mercy Ship to unload relief


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: