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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 5.55 GMT

Aussie Senate defeats motion against Sri Lanka

 

The Australian Senate has convincingly defeated a motion calling for the establishment of an independent international mechanism to investigate the issue of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka.

The resolution moved by the Green Senator Lee Rhiannon, called on the Australian Government to acknowledge that the LLRC fails to adequately address the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Sri Lankan conflict, and to support calls for the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to establish an independent international mechanism to investigate the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, as recommended by the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.

In addition, it expresses disappointment that the Federal Government has not issued a public response to the LLRC final report.

The resolution was defeated with 11 voting for and 30 against, with bi-partisan support against it.

Here is the text of the resolution and the voting in the Australian Senate:

FOREIGN AFFAIRS—SRI LANKA

Senator Rhiannon, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 639—That the Senate—
(a) notes:
(i) that the final report of Sri Lanka's Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was released publicly on 16 December 2011,
(ii) the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Rudd) stated that the Government would wait until the LLRC reported before taking any further action regarding allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war,
(iii) the Australian Government is yet to respond to the LLRC's final report,
(iv) Alistair Burt MP, the United Kingdom minister with responsibility for Sri Lanka has said that `The British Government is, on the whole, disappointed by the report's findings and recommendations on accountability',
(v) the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird has said:
`(I) Canada remains concerned that the report does not fully address the grave accusations of serious human rights violations that occurred toward the end of the conflict.
(II) Canada continues to call for an independent investigation into the credible and serious allegations raised by the UN [United Nations] Secretary-General's Panel that international humanitarian law and human rights were violated by both sides in the conflict.
(III) the government of Sri Lanka must demonstrate the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law',
(vi) the Tamil National Alliance, the democratically elected representative voice for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka has called on the international community to institute measures that will advance accountability and encourage reconciliation in Sri Lanka, in keeping with the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts,
(vii) the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka has said `the LLRC fails to satisfy key international standards of independence and impartiality, as it is compromised by its composition and deep-seated conflicts of interests of some of its members', and

(viii) Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group have said the LLRC does not adequately address the issue of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final phases of the conflict between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;
(b) expresses disappointment that the Federal Government has not issued a public response to the LLRC final report; and
(c) calls on the Government to:
(i) acknowledge that the LLRC fails to adequately address the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Sri Lankan conflict, and
(ii) support calls for the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to establish an independent international mechanism to investigate the issue of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, as recommended by the report of the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka.
Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,11
________________________________________

                    Senators—
                    Brown, Bob Ludlam Rhiannon Wright
                    Di Natale Madigan Siewert (Teller) Xenophon
                    Hanson-Young Milne Waters

NOES, 30

________________________________________
 

                    Senators—
                    Arbib Faulkner Lundy Ryan
                    Bilyk Feeney Marshall Sherry
                    Bishop Fifield McEwen (Teller) Singh
                    Brown, Carol Fisher McLucas Stephens
                    Cameron Furner Moore Sterle
                    Colbeck Gallacher Parry Thistlethwaite
                    Eggleston Kroger Polley
                    Farrell Ludwig Pratt


 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: February 15, 2012.

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