Tuesday, 19 November 2013

From Sri Lanka: an example of Tony Abbott's "difficult things" ****************WARNING Explicit Images****************

It is important everyone realizes that, although the fighting is over, the suffering is not.
I have been extremely moved by the profound trauma I have seen among the relatives of the missing and the dead, and the war survivors, in all the places I have visited, as well as by their resilience. This was particularly evident among those scratching out a living among the ghosts of burned and shelled trees, ruined houses and other debris of the final battle of the war along the lagoon in Mullaitivu.....
I was concerned to hear about the degree to which the military appears to be putting down roots and becoming involved in what should be civilian activities...
I was very concerned to hear about the vulnerability of women and girls, especially in female-headed households, to sexual harassment and abuse. I have raised this issue with several ministers, the provincial governors and senior military commanders who attended my meeting with the Secretary of Defence. I challenged them to rigorously enforce a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse.
I have also been following up on the status of the remaining detainees and have urged the Government to expedite their cases, either by bringing charges or releasing them for rehabilitation. I also suggested it may now be time to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act which has long been cause for concern.
Because of the legacy of massive trauma, there is a desperate need for counseling and psychosocial support in the North, and I was surprised and disappointed to learn that the authorities have restricted NGO activity in this sector. I hope the Government can relax controls on this type of assistance......
I asked the Government for more information about the new Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances, and stressed the need for it to be more effective than the five previous commissions of this kind. I was disappointed to learn that it will only cover disappearances in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which means that the many “white van” disappearances reported in Colombo and other parts of the country in recent years will not fall within its scope.....

The Commonwealth of Australia is party to seven core human rights treaties, but that doesn’t seem to be something Prime Minister Tony Abbott takes into account when in discussion with the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Sydney Morning Herald 16 November 2013:

Mr Abbott told reporters that while his government "deplores the use of torture we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen".

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields by Channel 4 [Full video]
Sri Lanka's Killing Fields Part 2 - Unpunished War Crimes [Full Video]

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