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Australian Tamils critical of Rudd’s response to LLRC report

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 07:56 No Comment]

While the Australasian Federation of Tamil Association (AFTA) said it is disappointed to see Australia’s response to LLRC "lacks either the persuasive language or open caution to Sri Lanka for its failure to address alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights," Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) said it is "concerned that Mr Rudd has continued to call on Sri Lanka to investigate itself. The Tamil community has no confidence in the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation and deliver justice to the victims of the war. We cannot expect justice when an investigation is initiated by a party to the alleged crimes," ATC release said.

pdf: AFTA Press Release

pdf: ATC Press Release

While the two representative organizations of the expatriate Tamils in Australia were highly critical of Rudd’s response to the LLRC report, Sri Lanka’s controversial ambassador to Australia praised the same report for "refusing to back calls for an independent international inquiry into his country’s vicious civil war."

Australian Tamil Congress said in its release: "The LLRC’s failure to acknowledge and address issues of war crimes has revealed Sri Lanka will not genuinely pursue justice for war victims. Furthermore, history has proven that internal inquiries by Sri Lankan authorities have predominantly failed. With a well entrenched culture of immunity still persisting, a truly independent investigation is only possible through an international mechanism as recommended by the UN panel of experts last year."

AFTA commented: "It is obvious that our FM has chosen to ignore the fact that the Sri Lankan President has failed not only to implement a number of simple, mere symbolic and easiest recommendations of the LLRC such as the National Anthem should be sung in both languages at national functions using the opportunity at the recently held Independence day celebrations but also has tried to hoodwink the international community by saying in his independent speech that during the 6 weeks period after the release of the report his government has been actively implementing the recommendations of the LLRC."

Expatriate Tamil circles widely believe that the reluctuance of the Western Governments, including the US and Australia, to push for an external independent investigation into the alleged war-crimes, reflect possible complicity of several countries in violating international treaties including Genocide Convention for the failure to intervene and stop the "genocide."

"Expatriate Tamils should be vigilant and understand the background to the "statements" by the international community which criticize Sri Lanka’s rights violations but continue to allow Sri Lanka space to avoid an independent investigation despite the presence of plausible evidence that "international crimes" were committed in the final stages of war. Individual diplomats may also be criminally liable for "Crime against peace" for efforts to disrupt the peace process while a Ceasefire Agreement was in place and when the two antagonist parties were involved in a peace process," spokesperson for the US-based activist group, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said.

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