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Distinguished Australians speak at Federal Parliament on Human Rights in Sri Lanka

June 17, 2009

Distinguished Australians speak at Federal Parliament on Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Three distinguished Australians, Hon. John Dowd AO QC, Dr. John Whitehall and Mr. Bruce Haigh, will address a forum at Federal Parliament House today 12.30PM on Human Rights in Sri Lanka and Australia’s Role.

The event comes a week after it was revealed that the Australian government decided not to place the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Australia’s list of terrorist organisations.

Since the Government of Sri Lanka reported it had won the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, accusations of human rights violations and war crimes on both sides of the conflict have been emerging. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has repeatedly called for an international independent investigation into such violations. However, Sri Lanka has blatantly opposed such an idea.

Furthermore, despite reporting an end to the war on 19 May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka has still not permitted unrestricted access to the ICRC, UN agencies, international aid groups, media or independent observers to the 300,000 Tamil civilians it currently holds indefinitely in heavily militarised concentration camps.

Allegations of rape, torture and abductions continue to emerge from the concentration camps, and an estimated 10,000 Tamils have been taken away for interrogation by security forces and their whereabouts are unknown.

Civilians in the region have not had access to UN and international aid agencies since September 2008, when the Government of Sri Lanka ordered them to leave Tamil areas of the north of the island.

Click here for Distinguished Australians speak at NSW Parliament on Human Rights in Sri Lanka

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