Australian Senate wants international investigation

  AustraliaThe Australian Senate has passed a resolution calling for the establishment of an international investigation into crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka, this week.

The motion, which was proposed by the Labour Party and co-sponsored by the Greens went on to call on Australia to “co-sponsor any United States resolution at the UNHRC in March 2014 regarding Sri Lanka’s progress on accountability and human rights”.

The motion, moved by Senators Lee Rhiannon, Claire Moore and Ursula Stephens also calls on Australia to cosponsor the United States resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2014

The motion moved by: Senators Lee Rhiannon, Claire Moore and Ursula Stephens states:

1. Notes Australia’s cosponsorship of the 2012 United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council resolution calling on the Sri Lankan Government to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka and to take credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

2. Notes Australia’s cosponsorship of the 2013 United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council resolution expressing concern at continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, and reiterating the call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the Commission’s recommendations and to fulfil its commitment to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law;

3. Notes continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, and international concerns about insufficient progress by the Government of Sri Lanka in addressing justice, reconciliation and accountability; and

4. Notes the forthcoming update to the Human Rights Council 24th session on the progress of the 2012 and 2013 resolutions.

5.Calls on the Australian Government to:

a. maintain Australia’s strong record of support for human rights at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council, including in relation to Sri Lanka; and

b. support the United States in its call for the “international community to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to evaluate reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka”;

c. cosponsor the United States resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2014 regarding Sri Lanka’s progress on accountability and human rights;

d. urge the Government of Sri Lanka to allow unimpeded access for media, international aid agencies, and human rights groups into all regions of the country, as well as to detention sites that may hold political and war prisoners;

e. urge the Government of Sri Lanka to end its media restrictions, including the obstacles to the flow of information in the North and East, and bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists and newspaper offices.

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