A Sri Lankan human rights expert says she's shocked the country will be allowed to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this year despite ongoing cases of torture and disappearances.
Yasmin Sooka, who was asked by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during Sri Lanka's war, says the country is still perpetrating abuses against its own civilians.
"People continue to be tortured and disappeared," she told ABC radio on Monday.
"Sri Lanka is quite frankly descending into a state where the rule of law no longer holds sway."
She praised Canada for saying it would boycott the November CHOGM meeting unless Sri Lanka investigates suspected war crimes.
"In the absence of any action by the government of Sri Lanka, they should not be rewarded by being allowed to host CHOGM," she said.
Ms Sooka says she's surprised other commonwealth countries, including Australia, are taking "such a weak line" in saying they will attend the meeting.
"I must say I'm surprised by Australia ... it's quite shocking," she said.
The federal government says it disagrees with Canada's position and will not join a boycott of the event.
Australian Greens leader Christine Milne accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of turning a blind eye to the growing reports of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
"She's turning that blind eye because she thinks it's more important to send asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka than actually address the reason why they're seeking asylum in the first place," she told reporters in Melbourne.
"Australia should stay home from CHOGM."
Australia has returned more than 1000 failed asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka since August 2012. Source: AAP,SBS News
Stop exaggerating Yasmin Sooka. You guys are not the experts in solving problems but expertised in adding fuel to the fire. Think twice before you say something. Where were you when the ruthless LTTE committing atrocities on poor civilians and distroying our country?
Daham Monday, 29 April 2013 05:18 AM
Madam, you are definely talking about a Sri Lanka in your dream world. Yes there are issues but obviously not what you are trying to portrait to the world. We have no objections of Australia keeping the boat people there. But we object you using them to portrait what Sri Lanka is not. Please visit from north to South & East to West. There are many living in peace & unity and there are few who is dancing to the tunes of west who wants to make this country an unstable state.It's pathetic that you are blind to the reality here.
meenavan Monday, 29 April 2013 05:54 AM
Madam are you stooge of dayaspora
Atha Monday, 29 April 2013 06:01 AM
Its pathetic that you are blind to reality.
Truth Monday, 29 April 2013 06:42 AM
how much you are paid ?
Nims Monday, 29 April 2013 09:59 AM
UN and the West will never look back until they destroy Buddhism from Sri Lanka - just the way they did it in South Korea
SHM Monday, 29 April 2013 11:55 AM
Yes, if that can help to save the increase in the electricity bill.....
ralph Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:00 AM
She is in a mid age crisis, hence such unlogical comments via DM Android App
Rommy Tuesday, 30 April 2013 07:53 AM
Well.. How much Ms Sooka being paid by LTTE ???
Nims Tuesday, 30 April 2013 08:10 AM
Pity this pretty lady has to do such a dirty job for her living
moda pissa Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:41 AM
Pretty ? She looks more like Shrek to me, Nims. Her deeds are not pretty, either.
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