For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 13 Oct 2013.
A member of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce has called on the Abbott Government not to turn a blind eye to human rights violations committed during the Sri Lankan civil war and in the post-war period.
Mr Peter Arndt, Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane, said it appeared the Abbott Government was seeking to obtain the support of the Sri Lankan Government in preventing Tamils from fleeing and seeking asylum in Australia.
“How can [the Australian Government], in good conscience, send Sri Lankan Tamils back home when they know that many people continue to be forcibly disappeared and many are still being detained indefinitely and tortured?” Mr Arndt said.
“Public figures like [Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Reyappu] Joseph are also being threatened and harassed by the authorities for their public criticisms of the Sri Lankan Government’s human rights abuses.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.