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Australian Senate calls on PM Abbott to raise Sri Lanka's human rights abuses at CHOGM



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Office of Senator Lee Rhiannon | Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales

MEDIA RELEASE 14 November 2013

Australian Senate calls on PM Abbott to raise Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses at CHOGM

The Australian Senate has rejected Tony Abbott’s stance on human rights abuses in Sri Lankan, and called on the Prime Minister to raise an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law with the President of Sri Lanka at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Tony Abbott’s public comments that human rights abuses in Sri Lanka comes second to his inhumane domestic policies about so called ‘boat people’ are disgraceful.

“While in Sri Lanka last weekend, I found the ongoing abuses of human and legal rights are so serious that Tony Abbott should have followed the lead of the Canadian, Indian and Mauritius Prime Ministers and boycotted CHOGM.

“The Australian Senate has now passed a Greens motion calling on the Prime Minister to act while he is at CHOGM and raise the issue of an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law with the President of Sri Lanka.

“Tony Abbott needs to listen to the Australian Parliament, and commit to at least fulfilling this basic request.

“British Prime Minister David Cameron has publicly stated he will be meeting with the Sri Lankan President and calling for a full, independent investigation into alleged war crimes. Tony Abbott has no excuse to ignore this call from the Senate,” said Senator Rhiannon.

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The motion is as below:

Notice of Motion - Senator RHIANNON and Senator MILNE 13 November 2013

I give notice that on 14 November 2013 I shall move that:

The Senate notes:

The UN General Assembly Human Rights Council Resolution encouraging the Sri Lankan Government to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable.

The Senate calls on Prime Minister Abbott to:

To raise the matter of an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law with the President of Sri Lanka at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.