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LTTE brutality must be considered -Australian Foreign Minister

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop issuing a statement on the US resolution against Sri Lanka which was passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council states that the Australian Government considers the engagement with Sri Lanka to be the most effective way to encourage progress on human rights issues and it will increase its effort to work constructively with the Sri Lankan Government, Tamil National Alliance and other stakeholders to identify ways to promote economic, social and cultural reconciliation.

“Genuine advance in accountability and reconciliation will only be possible with the cooperation of the Sri Lankan Government”, the statement added.

The Australian Government for the first time did not support the US resolution against Sri Lanka marking a huge achievement on the diplomatic front.

Issuing this statement after the UNHRC adopted the resolution with 23 votes for and 12 votes against, the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister states that she does not think the resolution adequately recognises the significant progress taken by the Sri Lankan Government to promote economic growth and its investment in infrastructure in areas formerly dominated by the LTTE in the North and North East of the country.

“We should recognise the brutality of the LTTE - a proscribed terrorist organisation during the 30- year war on terrorism from which the country is struggling to emerge”, Julie Bishop said in her statement.

It stated “I note the Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Sri Lanka today.

I note that Australia is not a member of the Human Rights Council and does not vote.

Nevertheless I am not convinced that the resolution’s call for separate, internationally -led investigation, without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan Government is the best way forward at this time.”

“In addition I do not think the resolution adequately recognises the significant progress taken by the Sri Lankan Government to promote economic growth and its investment in infrastructure in areas formerly dominated by the LTTE in the North and North East of the country. We should recognise the brutality of the LTTE a proscribed terrorist organisation during the 30 -- year civil was from which the country is struggling to emerge”.“Australia will increase its effort to work constructively with the Sri Lankan Government, Tamil National Alliance and other stakeholders to identify ways to promote economic, social and cultural reconciliation.

I urge the Sri Lankan Government to implement the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and to engage with domestic and international stakeholders to advance an effective and transparent reconciliation agenda”, the statement added.

(RW)

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