Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne has called on the Abbott government to deny an extremist alleged to have masterminded anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka entry to Australia.
Gnanasara Thero, who has been instrumental in inciting hatred against religious minorities in Sri Lanka and who is the General Secretary of the extremist Bodu Bala Sena sect, has applied for a visa and intends to tour Australia. Gnanasara Thero has reportedly been denied entry to the UK, France and the US.
"Gnanasara Thero must not be allowed to enter Australia. His racist and hate-filled rhetoric has no place in our free nation," Senator Milne said.
"The Abbott government's appeasement of the Sri Lankan Rajapaksa regime for the sake of its cruel refugee policy is shameful, but to allow this extremist into the country would be a shocking new low.
"The Rajapaksa regime has failed to bring Gnanasara Thero to justice, but we can prevent him from preaching his hatred in Australia. With the UK, France and US all reportedly refusing Gnanasara Thero entry, Australia would be alone in refusing to condemn his extremist agenda.
"Minister Morrison must reveal whether he had conversations with President Rajapaksa's brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, about issuing a visa for this man, who incites religious hatred. Did Minister Morrison offer an invitation for Gnanasara Thero to come to Australia?
"It is widely speculated in Sri Lanka that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is closely associated with Bodu Bala Sena.
"Meanwhile the Abbott government continues to shame Australia on the world stage by actively supporting a government which presides over disappearances and persecution."
Senator Milne has written to the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to request that the visa application be rejected on the grounds that the applicant does not satisfy the character test in section 501(6) of the Migration Act