Thursday, 24 February 2011
Statements by Members
On behalf of the Sri Lankan community that I represent in this place, particularly the Tamil community, I express my grave concern at the foreshadowed appointment by the Sri Lankan government of the ex-Navy commander Admiral Samarasinghe as the next High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Australia. We are all concerned about his involvement, as the director general of naval operations towards the end of the Tamil conflict, in the indiscriminate shelling of innocent civilians. He would seem to be an entirely inappropriate person to be high commissioner of Sri Lanka to our country.
Also, I call on the government to independently investigate Dr Palitha Kohona, an Australian-Sri Lankan dual citizen and former DFAT official who participated in the surrender of the Tamil Tigers in the last days of the war. On 18 May 2009, several innocent Tamils were slaughtered while holding a white flag. Finally, I support the private member’s bill of the member for Werriwa on Monday to support the—(Time expired)