ATC – Aust should call for war crimes investigation in SL

April 26, 2011 Comments Off on ATC – Aust should call for war crimes investigation in SL

ATC –  Australian Tamils Urge PM to Call for Independent International Inquiry into War Crimes in Sri Lanka

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 26 April 2011 – www.australiantamilcongress.com

The Australian Tamil Congress is calling on the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to openly call for an independent international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, after a report on the issue submitted to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon by a UN Expert Advisory Panel was officially released today.

The Expert Panel found allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka to be credible and admits that the UN had failed to act to protect Tamil civilians despite having knowledge of the high civilian casualty rate. The panel also recommended an international independent inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka, stating Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s own internal inquiry, the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’, was “deeply flawed” and failed to “satisfy key international standards”.

Sri Lanka was quick to denounce the findings of the report with President openly calling for mass protests against the UN. Since the panel’s establishment in 2010, Sri Lanka has repeatedly refused visas to the Expert Panel, blocking their visit to the island and has to date been defiant against any international independent inquiry into war crimes in the island.

“The international community, including Australia, failed to protect Tamil civilians who were victims of war crimes,” said Dr Sam Pari, spokesperson for the Australian Tamil Congress. “It is now time for Australia to step away from the soft diplomacy it practices with Sri Lanka and openly call for an international independent inquiry into war crimes that were committed in the island, with trade sanctions and travel bans for government officials being imposed if Sri Lanka fails to follow,” she added.

Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse will be visiting Perth later this year to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Media contact: Dr. Sam Pari, Australian Tamil Congress – 0433 428 967


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