Australia calls for probe on alleged war crimes

Robyn_Mudie_(2)Australia says it continues to encourage the Sri Lankan government to ensure that allegations of serious international crimes committed by both sides to the conflict are investigated.

Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie, was Chief Guest today at the opening of the Advanced Seminar on International Humanitarian Law for members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, jointly organised by the Faculty of Law of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The High Commissioner spoke about the continuing importance of International Humanitarian Law, also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict.

As High Commissioner Mudie said, International Humanitarian Law remains as relevant as ever despite the changing nature of warfare. “These changes pose challenges… and highlight the dire need for improved compliance with International Humanitarian Law.”

High Commissioner Mudie welcomed Sri Lanka’s constructive engagement over the past four years of consultations on a possible mechanism which will be considered when the States Parties to the Geneva Conventions (including Australia and Sri Lanka) gather in Geneva for the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December this year.

High Commissioner Mudie reiterated Australia’s support for the Sri Lankan Government’s democratic reform and good governance agenda, and its commitment to improving human rights, meaningful reconciliation and a credible domestic accountability mechanism to account for alleged violations during the conflict.

“Australia continues to encourage the Sri Lankan government to ensure that allegations of serious international crimes committed by both sides to the conflict are investigated and prosecuted in a transparent and independent manner”. (Colombo Gazette)

12 COMMENTS

  1. Each democratically governed country should be left to deal with its own humanitarian issues according to its own laws without interference from other countries.

      • Deal with Sri Lanka the way you delt with the LTTE which had killed more intelllectuals and leaders than al qaeda. You did nothing to the LTTE; therefore, do the same to the Sri Lankan government to move forward. You have followed India and took arms; therefore, you must be blamed as well. Reconciliation is not all about digging up the past. We must not stir up negative feelings.

        “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
        — Gandhi

        The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
        — Gandhi

        Forgo your anger for a moment and save yourself a hundred days of trouble.
        — Chinese proverb

        “The man who opts for revenge should dig two graves.”
        — Chinese proverb

    • Who said criminals are investigating the crimes? In that case the TNA is also the LTTE isn’t it; do you think that the TNA members should be punished for the LTTE’s crimes?

  2. Australia is repeatedly breaching international obligations on human and indigenous rights and now preaches Sri Lanka on the need to respect international obligations – the typical double standards and hypocrisy of the Whites?

    UN criticises Australia’s treatment of Aborigines as ‘racist’

    By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

    The United Nations has accused Australia of being “entrenched” with racism after an inquiry into the treatment of the country’s Aboriginal population.
    The report accused the government of repeatedly breaching international obligations on human and indigenous rights.

    James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, said the country’s hardline policy towards stamping out abuse among in indigenous population was clearly discriminatory.

    Thousands of troops and police were sent into Outback Aboriginal communities to stamp out child abuse, alcoholism and domestic violence fuelled by “rivers of grog”.

    The intervention known as the Northern Territory Emergency Response, was launched by the conservative government of former prime minister John Howard in 2007.

    It was part of a new push to close the gap in education, employment and health between white and black Australia by placing restrictions on welfare payments and access to alcohol and pornography in 73 remote aboriginal communities.

    However, many residents of the townships affected by the policy complained bitterly that the new laws stripped them of basic human rights and were discriminatory because they did not apply to Australians of other races.

    Kevin Rudd, the current prime minister, has refused to scrap the controversial intervention policy since taking office in 2007.
    Earlier this week, the Alyawarra people the from central Australia called on the UN to declare them refugees because the laws had made them outcasts in their own land.

    Mr Ananya yesterday (THURS) urged the government to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act in the Northern Territory, which was suspended when the intervention started.

    He also called for compensation for the “stolen generations” of Aboriginal children, who were taken from their parents to promote racial integration in the first half of the 20th century.

    Mr Anaya spoke in Canberra at the end of a 12-day fact-finding tour of Australia during which he visited indigenous communities and held talks with the Australian government.

    “[The intervention] undermines the right of indigenous peoples to control their own destinies, their right to self-determination,” he said. “There is entrenched racism in Australia.

    “These measures overtly discriminate against Aboriginal peoples, infringe their right of self-determination and stigmatise already stigmatised communities.”

    The measures were too broad and had been imposed for too long, despite a lack of evidence that the ban on alcohol had reduced alcohol abuse, he said.
    He described the policy of forcing Aborigines to set aside a portion of their welfare checks for essentials such as food and rent as “demeaning”.

    “They have to carry a card around that marks them as someone who can’t manage their own funds,” he said.
    The restrictions were “incompatible” with Australia’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said.
    Mr Rudd’s decision to stand by the intervention has disappointed many Aboriginal leaders, who hoped his government’s move to issue a historic apology for the wrongs suffered by the indigenous population since white settlement in 1788 signalled a new chapter in internal race relations.

    But yesterday he said it was “a devastating report” on an unacceptable situation.

    Jenny Macklin, Australia’s indigenous affairs minister, has said moves to reintroduce the Racial Discrimination Act would come into parliament later this year.
    Australia’s 460,000 Aborigines make up about 2 per cent of the population. They suffer higher rates of unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence than other Australians and have an average life expectancy of 17 years less than the rest of the country.

  3. oi peter, why are you so worked up when the west including australia call for probe on alleged war crimes. the fact of the matter is sri lankan armed forces have committed war crimes that is killing , rape and refusing food and medicine to the tamil people during the final stages of civil war. sri lankan armed forces bombed the so called ” no fire zone” where tamil people have been asked to take shelter. sinhala armed forces bombed hospitals, schools,places of worship etc. where tamil people have taken refuge. sinhala leaders and armed forces have committed the worst crimes against a section of the population. this has to be investigated . what i mean an external probe. domestic investigation is a load of bollocks. sinhala sirisena says he will not allow the armed forces to be found guilty. the purpose of a domestic investigation is already defeated even before it started. sirisena forget this domestic humbug investigation. don’t try to fool everyone. sirisena,by the way when are you going to devolve powers to the northeast. why are you waiting for. is is another humbug.

  4. Dear M/s Mudie and Australia please repeat please leave Sri Lanka alone. You Aussies think that you are all saints in the eyes of God. Bring charges against your corrupt officials who paid people smugglers to turn back the boats. Its a damning shame as to what was done. You Aussies will go to the extreme of collaborating with Satan himself and all his ugliness if there is material gain involved.
    One day in the future not very far off Australia will be measured in the same way they measure others.
    I as a Sri lankan am ashamed that i have cousins living in Australia who were given immigration status way back even though they do not even have a simple pass in english language in the GCE-OL examination.
    I wonder what Austrlia benefitted from them.
    Criteria for immigration was marriage status.
    In another 25 years time 95 percent of Australians wont know who their parents are.
    We Sri lankans have a proud culture and heritage and we will keep it no matter what.
    Today Australia together with the Western world is fully responsible for all the worlds mess.

  5. if only Australia could show the same entusiasem to probe war crimes of George Bush and Tony Blair…!(this a load of hypocrisy )

  6. The West is encouraging division in Sri Lanka. This is nothing but divide and rule strategy. Sri Lankans could not have fought the longest war in Asia without the blessing of the West. Not only Sri Lanka, all the developing countries are facing the same problem. Australia has its own issues to sort-out before preaching Sri Lankans. Unfortunately, Tamil leaders don’t understand the West’s game.

    The Australian Indigenous communities remain the most vulnerable sectors of the society throughout Australia. Some parts of indigenous communities are worse off than the poorest African communities in the remotest regions of Africa. The Australian government still refuses to acknowledge indigenous people as the first inhabitants of Australia through its constitution. Four out of seven indigenous children are damaging their brain by paint and petrol sniffing before they even get into teenage life. The Australia’s injustice was systematically engineered by the power elites to make sure that indigenous communities won’t progress to have knowledge, in order to control indigenous people’s resources freely.

    It is very apparent that at each historical point in time, indigenous communities have suffered from a deep rooted distrust of giving practical effect to their rights, and the idea of justice. Among Australia’s elite today, there is a habit of blaming indigenous communities for their harsh lifestyle in order to hide Australia’s injustice. The lack of justice is affecting all citizens; it is especially affecting the white Australians ethically. This deficit of justice has impacted the indigenous communities adversely throughout many generations; resulting in physical and psychological torture, enforced separations from their family members and even death. Most importantly, this phenomenon has been manifested not only during the British colonization, but also in the present.

    The Australian, American, New Zealand and Canadian governments would not give land rights to indigenous people easily; if they do it defeats the purpose of invading others’ countries to have resources. Canada also treats its First Nation badly; Canada allows its First Nation to live in their lands as Australia, but refuses to give ownership to them, in order to control the resources. This tactic allows the Canadian and Australian governments to have full control of the money profited from the sale of indigenous people’s resources. It is all about money and ruling others. The Western governments have created Israel based on the history, and the circumstances of the Jews. However, they have refused do the same for the indigenous people of Australia, America, Canada and New Zealand.

    We have enough tangible evidence to prove that the indigenous people of Australia, North America and New Zealand were the first inhabitants of Australia, North America and New Zealand more than anyone could ever prove that Israel belongs to the Jews. Clearly, it was easier for the Westerners to create a country for the Jews on others’ homeland to have a Jewish state as “the representatives of the West”, in order to control the Middle East. However, the same people who acknowledge the Jewish state have refused to acknowledge indigenous people in their homeland. It is nothing but a double standard and dirty ethic of the Western governments. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Obviously, the Westerners who have refused to acknowledge Indigenous people in their homeland for centuries would not have started the Arab Spring for the benefit of the Arabs; they have an ulterior motive.

    • How can one live with serial killers, rapists and torturers?
      Sinhalese leaders thought that they can continue to get away from oppression, war crimes, mass human rights abuses and its time for accountability and justice.

      Sri Lanka and Eelam were two nations prior to Western colonialism and it has to be the same way to live in harmony, peace and dignity.

      • The LTTE killed more intelllectuals and leaders than al qaeda. Why you didn’t question those serial killers?

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