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Thursday, 28 February 1985
Page: 384


Mr MAHER —Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs proposing to visit Sri Lanka to assess personally the civil unrest in that nation? If so, will the Minister ensure that he receives briefings from both Singalese and Tamil sources?


Mr HAYDEN —A little later in the year-I think some time in May according to planning now on hand-I propose to visit the Indian sub-continent. I am looking forward to officially visiting Sri Lanka during that visit. Of course, I will take the opportunity of informing myself as well as I can on the most unfortunate communal disturbances which are taking place there. I have received many direct approaches from representatives of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka, less so from the Sri Lankan community. The Department of Foreign Affairs maintains a monitoring watch on what is developing in Sri Lanka from both our national representation there and contacts which we have. Should the honourable member have any suggestions on how I can better inform myself on this matter-I have no doubt from the volume of correspondence I have received from him on every other matter that he will be as helpful on this matter as he is on other matters-he should contact me.