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Turn up heat on Sri Lankan High Commissioner: Greens

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called for the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe to be recalled, following today's reports that he oversaw efforts to stop Tamil asylum-seekers fleeing by boat to escape the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka in 2009.

"These boastful claims by the High Commissioner are embarrassing to the Australian government and raise the question of why Mr Samarasinghe continues to hold his position while allegations of his involvement in war crimes hang over his head" said Senator Rhiannon.

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Blog: Visiting Villawood

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

When I heard that another mother had been imprisoned at Villawood with her two children I went out to meet them. I regularly visit this detention centre, in Sydney's western suburbs, and have come to know quite a few of the detainees in there

I find most of my visits to Villawood are distressing, but this time it was especially difficult. There are now three mothers locked up indefinitely with no reason as to why and with a debilitating fear of what the future holds for their children.

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Chris Bowen visit puts Labor's self interest before human rights

Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen should use his current visit to Sri Lanka to take up the issue of ongoing human rights abuses, rather than pandering to the Rajapakse government to shore up ongoing co-operation with Australia against people smuggling, says Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"It is a disgrace to learn that ahead of his Sri Lanka visit Minister Bowen praised the Rajapakse government for co-operating with Australia against people smuggling," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Sri Lanka: Breakthrough at UN Human Rights Council

Lee Rhiannon 23 Mar 2012

MEDIA RELEASE 23 March 2012

Sri Lanka: Breakthrough at UN Human Rights Council

Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon in welcoming the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka said that it is a long awaited first step by the international community to hold the Sri Lankan Government to account for the war crimes committed during the civil war.

"The passing of this resolution is a sign that the international community is not willing to be hoodwinked by the Government of Sri Lanka,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Sri Lanka: fresh Ch 4 evidence highlights Australia’s weak position on war crimes

Lee Rhiannon 14 Mar 2012

Fresh evidence to be screened by England's Channel 4 today of attacks on civilians and point blank executions of Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka's civil war should spur the Gillard government to call for an independent investigation into war crimes during the civil war, says Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"This new Channel 4 documentary, shot in the final stages of the war, shows the point blank execution of Tamil Tigers and the leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's 12 year old son as he was on his way to surrender," Senator Rhiannon said.

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