Greens say Australia should be ashamed of Rajapaksa’s praise
The Australian Greens say it was not a "bold move" to withhold support from a UN war crimes investigation, but rather a shameful demonstration that Australia is appeasing the government in Sri Lanka to further Tony Abbott's domestic policies on asylum seekers.
"The Rajapaksa government is, in my view, an elected dictatorship. It only came to power because the Tamils boycotted the election," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.
"Now the Abbott government is aligning itself with the Rajapaksa regime, inviting a delegation to Australia, while in Sri Lanka there are extrajudicial killings, people disappearing , people being forced off their land.
"It's so bad there that the United Nations has called for an international investigation into human rights abuses, in particular at the end of the civil war. Australia refused to back that resolution and now the regime under investigation is thanking us.
"The person congratulating Australia on such a ‘bold move' was at the time in charge of the navy in Sri lanka and has himself been accused of war crimes," said Senator Milne.
"This is a truly shocking indictment on Australia. This is how far Tony Abbott is willing to go to facilitate his own domestic policy on asylum seekers and the cruelty he wishes to impose on people.
"The Greens believe Australia should have co-sponsored the UN resolution that called for an investigation. We should have also joined Canada in boycotting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka.
"History will show what a disgrace it is for Australia to appease the Rajapaksa regime."