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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3751


Mr MURPHY (Reid) (13:52): I rise to table a petition on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of concerned citizens of Australia draws the attention of the house to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Since independence the minority rights enshrined in the constitution has been systematically eroded. State sponsored colonisation, periodical pogroms and policies of discrimination resulted in Tamils demanding federal system of government through civil disobedience campaigns. They were met with force. Unable to tolerate this tyranny Tamil Youth took up arms. The Government unleashed a violent response and indiscriminately killed Tamil Civilians. Report of the UN Secretary-General's (UNSG) Panel of Experts revealed credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity which have been committed. The government's LLRC report was rejected by many in the International Community. The ongoing exodus of Tamil asylum seekers demands an examination of the root causes of this conflict. As a country that upholds the rule of law and principles of human rights and as the chair of the Commonwealth organisation, Australia could play a significant role in finding a solution to this conflict.

We therefore ask the House to do all in its power to recommend to the Australian government to:

(a) Demand the UNSG to implement the main recommendations of the panel he established —to establish an independent, international Mechanism to monitor SL's domestic accountability process and to conduct investigations independently into the alleged violations and

(b) Support publicly the US led initiative at the current 19th session of the UNHRC.

from 2,550 citizens

Petition received.

Mr MURPHY: I could not agree more with this petition. The world is crying out for justice for the Tamil people. (Time expired)