Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

FOREIGN AFFAIRS—SRI LANKA

Senator Rhiannon, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 639—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) that the final report of Sri Lanka's Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was released publicly on 16 December 2011,

  (ii) the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Rudd) stated that the Government would wait until the LLRC reported before taking any further action regarding allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war,

  (iii) the Australian Government is yet to respond to the LLRC's final report,

  (iv) Alistair Burt MP, the United Kingdom minister with responsibility for Sri Lanka has said that `The British Government is, on the whole, disappointed by the report's findings and recommendations on accountability',

  (v) the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird has said:

  `(I) Canada remains concerned that the report does not fully address the grave accusations of serious human rights violations that occurred toward the end of the conflict.

 (II) Canada continues to call for an independent investigation into the credible and serious allegations raised by the UN [United Nations] Secretary-General's Panel that international humanitarian law and human rights were violated by both sides in the conflict.

 (III) the government of Sri Lanka must demonstrate the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law',

  (vi) the Tamil National Alliance, the democratically elected representative voice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, has called on the international community to institute measures that will advance accountability and encourage reconciliation in Sri Lanka, in keeping with the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts,

  (vii) the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka has said `the LLRC fails to satisfy key international standards of independence and impartiality, as it is compromised by its composition and deep-seated conflicts of interests of some of its members', and


  (viii) Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group have said the LLRC does not adequately address the issue of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final phases of the conflict between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;

 (b) expresses disappointment that the Federal Government has not issued a public response to the LLRC final report; and

 (c) calls on the Government to:

  (i) acknowledge that the LLRC fails to adequately address the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Sri Lankan conflict, and

  (ii) support calls for the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to establish an independent international mechanism to investigate the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, as recommended by the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,11


Senators—
Brown, BobLudlamRhiannonWright
Di NataleMadiganSiewert (Teller)Xenophon
Hanson-YoungMilneWaters

NOES, 30


Senators—
ArbibFaulknerLundyRyan
BilykFeeneyMarshallSherry
BishopFifieldMcEwen (Teller)Singh
Brown, CarolFisherMcLucasStephens
CameronFurnerMooreSterle
ColbeckGallacherParryThistlethwaite
EgglestonKrogerPolley
FarrellLudwigPratt

Question negatived.