Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says the Prime Minister’s gift of two naval vessels and co-operation with the Sri Lankan authorities to help stop people fleeing the country is collaboration on human rights abuses.
“The Prime Minister’s silence on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka was inexcusable complicity, but this is nothing less than collaboration and it is abhorrent,” Senator Milne said.
“I am devastated and heartbroken at the thought of Australia assisting a disgraced government to suppress and control its citizens.
“In order to shore up Tony Abbott’s cruel and hollow policy to stop the boats he is resorting to collaboration with Sri Lanka and will turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. This has nothing to do with fairness, justice or saving lives.
“I don’t think Australians who genuinely thought that stopping the boats was about saving lives will feel comfortable knowing that ‘stop the boats’ now means preventing people from running away from torture and condemning them to human rights abuses.
“Sri Lanka is not a transit country. People are escaping from torture and abuse.
“Any resources provided to Sri Lanka would be better spent in leading a genuine regional solution that cares for refugees by bringing more of them to Australia and by pushing for global action to investigate alleged war crimes.
“The Australian Greens congratulate David Cameron for doing what Australians expected their Prime Minister to do, to stand up for people suffering from persecution and abuse.”