Skip to content

Aust Foreign Minister says solution is not Tamil state; Aust Tamils ask so what is the solution??!!

April 29, 2009

“I would like to know what the solution is?” asks Dr Sam Pari, a youth activist. “Sri Lanka believes it is a Sinhala state and has never wanted to treat the Tamils equally. Isn’t the deliberate targeting of Tamil civilians proof enough that an independent Tamil state is the only solution?” she asks.
Click here to read full report

SMH – Australia boosts Sri Lanka aid by $4.5m
Australia is to provide a further $4.5 million in humanitarian aid for Sri Lanka, now in the final throes of a brutal civil war…Neither Australia nor the international community believed this could be solved by the creation of an independent Tamil state, Mr Smith said.

Click here to read article
Click here for transcript of interview

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. fastuntoactionaust permalink
    April 29, 2009 5:11 pm

    Transcript of interview, ABC Television

    JOE O’BRIEN: We’ll turn to the situation in Sri Lanka now; and you’re
    announcing this financial humanitarian assistance. Which body is that
    money going to?

    STEPHEN SMITH: We’re announcing a further $4.5 million worth of
    financial assistance. The bulk of it is going to organisations
    associated with assisting displaced persons. So, the United Nations High
    Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organisation for Migration,
    they get the bulk of it: $3 million; a million and a half each.

    The Red Cross gets $1 million. And another NGO, Australian-based NGO,
    gets a half a million dollars.

    It’s all aimed at trying to relieve the terrible humanitarian situation
    we find in Sri Lanka. We’ve seen, in recent days and weeks, a very large
    number of displaced people. And this is aimed at trying to alleviate
    their burden.

    More generally, we continue to urge the Sri Lanka Government and the
    Tamil Tigers to cease hostilities. And we continue to urge the Sri
    Lankan Government to try and effect a political solution.

    This is not a problem which can be dealt with only by military means.

    JOE O’BRIEN: Is it a problem that can only be solved by the
    establishment of an independent Tamil state?

    STEPHEN SMITH: Well, that’s not the Australian Government’s position and
    it’s not the view of the international community.

    Today for example, we’ll see French Foreign Minister Kouchner and
    British Foreign Secretary Miliband arrive in Colombo and they’ll be
    making all of the points that the international community has been
    making about this very difficult situation.

    I spoke at length to David Miliband over the Anzac Day weekend and he’ll
    be making the points which the international community have been making,
    which is: we need to see a cessation of hostilities; we want to see the
    Tamil Tigers lay down their arms; we want to make sure that civilians
    are provided for on a humanitarian basis; and we need to see
    international monitors in the displaced people’s camps to make sure that
    humanitarian standards are abided by.

    But we also need to see the Sri Lankan Government sit down and craft out
    a political program, a political dialogue, political reforms, required
    to bring a long-term enduring solution to this very difficult and
    longstanding problem.

    JOE O’BRIEN: So just very briefly, the Tigers have offered a ceasefire.
    The Sri Lankan Government has rejected that. Should the Sri Lankan
    Government accept that cease fire?

    STEPHEN SMITH: We want both the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil
    Tigers to cease hostilities, and particularly to allow civilians who are
    still caught up in hostile areas to remove themselves from those areas.

    We’ve been calling on the Tamil Tigers for some time to lay down their
    arms. It’s been quite clear, for a matter of weeks, if not months, that
    the Sri Lankan Government is winning the military battle; is winning the
    war. But, it needs more than a military solution to give the Sri Lankan
    people the chance of a long-term enduring peace.

    JOE O’BRIEN: Stephen Smith in Canberra, thanks very much for talking to
    us this morning.

    STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks, Joe.

    [Ends]

    Media Inquiries: Foreign Minister’s office (02) 6277 7500

  2. fastuntoactionaust permalink
    April 29, 2009 5:45 pm

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 29 April 2009 4.00 PM – https://fastuntoaction.wordpress.com/

    Australian Tamils Puzzled by Foreign Minister Smith’s
    View on Solution to Sri Lankan Conflict

    Australian Tamils are puzzled by the Foreign Minister’s comment this morning to ABC Television that “[n]either Australia nor the international community believed this could be solved by the creation of an independent Tamil state” [SMH, 29/04/09] when referring to the current Sri Lanka military onslaught which has seen the death of 6500 Tamil civilians in the past 3 months.

    “I would like to know what the solution is?” asks Dr Sam Pari, a youth activist. “Sri Lanka believes it is a Sinhala state and has never wanted to treat the Tamils equally. Isn’t the deliberate targeting of Tamil civilians proof enough that an independent Tamil state is the only solution?” she asks.

    The current and previous Australian governments and the Opposition parties have supported the separation of states, as seen in the creation of East Timor and Kosovo, so we cannot ignore this comment as a policy stance of the Rudd government, added Dr Sam Pari.

    In September 2008, Sri Lankan Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka had said in an interview to National Post, Canada: “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities…They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”

    In July 1983, the same month over 4000 Tamils were killed in government backed racial anti-Tamil riots, the then Sri Lankan President J R Jayawardene was quoted in Britain’s Daily Telegraph saying: “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people… now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion…Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.”

    The Tamil Diaspora feel that the sentiment of the Sri Lankan government, that the island of Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhala people only and that Tamils cannot expect equality, has not changed since Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1948.

    In line with claims by Tamil Tigers and Tamil civilian sources in the no fire safe zone, UN official John Holmes said he had received reliable reports of continued assault in the area despite Sri Lankan government assurances that it would stop – a comment backed by Western diplomatic sources in Colombo who confirmed reports of continuing shelling in the ‘no fire safe zone’ [The Telegraph, UK, 28/04/09].

    Media Contacts:
    Dr Sam Pari – 0433 428 967

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: