Affirming his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this week, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the most important civil right is the right to live without the threat of death or violence through a civil war.
In an interview with Alan Jones of Radio 2GB on Monday, the Australian PM said it is getting better in Sri Lanka for the war-affected Tamil people in the North and ordinary civil society is resuming in the Tamil parts of Sri Lanka.
The Australian PM said he is attending the summit because he respects the Commonwealth and he wants Australia to be a good participant in the Commonwealth.
"I want us to be a good international citizen generally, but I certainly don't want us to trash one of the very long-standing and important bodies that we are a senior member of. So, I'll be going to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka ," Abbott said.
He further noted that Sri Lankan Government is very committed to stopping illegal boat arrivals from Sri Lanka and readily takes back the illegal immigrants.
"If a country is cooperating fully and effectively with Australia , it seems right and proper to maintain the best possible relations with them," the Australian PM pointed out.
When asked whether he would raise the human rights concerns the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper raised, Abbott replied that he will not lecture other countries on human rights.
"I am not inclined to go overseas and give other countries lectures; really aren't," the Australian PM said.
Emphasizing that the Tamil Tigers were the inventors of suicide bombing and "an absolutely vicious outfit" Abbott said it's not to say that the atrocities were all on one side.
"Now, that's not to say that the atrocities were all on one side. I don't pretend that for a second. The Sri Lankan army fought a savage war against the Tamil Tigers and yes, terrible things happened in that war, no doubt about it and it wasn't all on one side. I accept that. But the war is over," he said.
"I don't say everything's perfect there for a second, but I think things are getting better and while, yes, I will be urging the Sri Lankan Government to respect everyone's rights, I think I will also be acknowledging that a lot of progress has been made and in the end the most important civil right is the right to live without the threat of death or horrific violence through some civil war," the Prime Minister said.