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17    Foreign Affairs—Sri Lanka—Ms Balendra Jeyakumari

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 171—That the Senate—

    (a)   expresses concern:

                  (i)   at the arrest and subsequent detention of Ms Balendra Jeyakumari, an advocate for families of the disappeared, and the arrest of her 13 year old daughter Vidushika, by the Sri Lankan police on Thursday, 13 March 2014, and

                 (ii)   that these arrests followed both Balendra and Vidushika Jeyakumari being featured in media photographs and videos when British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron visited northern Sri Lanka during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013;

    (b)   notes, with concern, reports that Australia is working to actively undermine the United States (US) resolution, entitled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka’, to be voted on at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC); and

     (c)   calls on the Australian Government to:

                  (i)   intervene and call for the release of Ms Balendra Jeyakumari and for her to be reunited with her daughter, and

                 (ii)   desist from watering down the resolution proposed by the US at the upcoming meeting of the UNHRC.

Question put and negatived.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister for Social Services (Senator Fifield), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.