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Gillard raises concerns over Sri Lanka's investigation of war crimes

October 27, 2011 - Canberra

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that her government wants Sri Lanka to deal with alleged human rights abuses committed during the with the Tamil Tigers.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Gillard raised the human rights issues directly with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of Friday's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

"We have consistently raised our concerns about human rights questions in the end stages of the conflict. These need to be addressed by Sri Lanka," the paper quoted Gillard, as saying.

She said the country should address the abuses through its post-civil war Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, as well as through a parallel United Nations investigation.

Meanwhile, a motion lodged in a Melbourne court to charge Rajapaksa with war crimes was stopped by the government.

The president of the International Commission of Jurists' Australian chapter, John Dowd recently joined calls for Sri Lanka to be stripped of the 2013 CHOGM. Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, however, said this would not happen.


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