“MEETING WITH THE AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN OFFICE – CANBERRA 1 MARCH 2011”, SRI LANKA SUPPORT GROUP, CANBERRA
Posted on March 4th, 2011

 President SRI LANKA SUPPORT GROUP   

1 March 2011

Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs.
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

 Dear Mr Rudd

 RE: A MEETING WITH YOU IN CANBERRA IN MARCH 2011

 We are a group of Sri Lankan Australians  from various parts of Australia, namely, from the territory of the ACT and the states of  NSW, Vic and Qld.

 We are all immigrants from Sri Lanka, who have lived in Australia for a long time. We are mostly professionals and have positively contributed to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Australia.  We will continue to do so in the future.

 Ourselves, the delegates who visit you today, can be considered as leaders of our respective communities.

We are all from the Sinhalese ethnic group (the other major Sri Lankan ethnic group living in Australia is the Tamils).  According to the 2006 Census there are 73,852 Sinhalese and 8,897 Sri Lankan Tamils living in Australia.

 We thank you for the opportunity granted to us to come and meet with your office today.

 The issues that we wish to discuss with your office today are briefly as follows “”…”

 (1)   Thus far denial by Australia to accept the appointment of Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe as Sri Lanka’s next High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia. The Australian  press recently reported that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has made a statement that it has “ƒ”¹…”problems’ with the appointment of Admiral Samarasinghe as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner of Australia. This has caused grave disappointment to us, and the majority of Sri Lankans living in Sri Lanka. DFAT has made such representations solely because of the fact that some Tamils living in Sri Lanka are demanding the Australian government to oppose the candidacy of Admiral Samarasinghe as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia. Sri Lankan Tamil Australians who have the desire to split Sri Lanka into two and create the separate state “ƒ”¹…”Tamil Ealam’, and their Australian allies have made allegations that Admiral Samarasinghe had committed war crimes in Sri Lanka. This is a totally false allegation, made without any evidentiary basis. Admiral Samarasinghe had been a distinguished officer of the Sri Lankan defence force who was well liked by the people in Sri Lanka especially the Tamil people living in North and East of Sri Lanka. He served the Sri Lankan defence forces for 35 years and retired as the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy. We can clearly state that Admiral Samarasinghe did not commit any war crimes; instead he helped the Tamil civilians immensely. The  allegation made against him that  naval vessels fired at the fleeing Tamil civilians is a totally fabrication. In fact it is a new invention; the story came into being only after Admiral Samarasinghe was named as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Australia. Prior to that no war crimes allegations had been made against him by anyone. Admiral Samarasinghe’s sole duty was to defend Sri Lanka against the ethnic war waged against Sri Lanka by the Tamil guerrillas. It is a justifiable action for any country to fight to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and this is what Admiral Samarasinghe carried out in his duties as the Navy Commander  of Sri Lanka (only for one year- he was appointed after end of the war), and prior to that as a Naval Officer attached to the Sri Lankan  Navy. We can say with utmost confidence that Admiral Samarasinghe is a genuine friend of Australia. As stated before until very recently he was the Navy Commander of Sri Lanka. During this time he actively worked with Australian Government officials (both stationed in Sri Lanka and those who visited Sri Lanka from Australia) to stop the influx of Tamil boats to Australia. Australia must welcome Admiral Samarasinghe with open arms as it is Admiral Samarasinghe who had worked very hard to assist Australia to stop the Sri Lankan Tamil boats from coming to Sri Lanka. Owing to his hard work so many boats were stopped and the statistics show that the number of Tamil boats coming  to Australia has now decreased. Even last week the Government of Sri Lanka stopped an alleged “ƒ”¹…”asylum seeker’ boat, comprised of 14 Tamils from reaching Australia. This is because of the fine mechanism put in place by Admiral Samarasinghe to stop such boats from leaving Sri Lanka to Australia. Australia must be thankful to Admiral Samarasinghe for assisting to successfully resolve a major problem that  Australia is facing, than punishing him most unfairly and unreasonably by not endorsing his candidacy, solely on the basis of baseless allegations made against him by Sri Lankan Tamils who only want to create a separate state in Sri Lanka. They are using some parliamentarians in Australia to enhance their cause. We ask you, the Foreign Minister of Australia, to support the appointment of Admiral Samarasinghe as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Australia so that he can commence his duties soon. We have no doubt that as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia, Admiral Mr Samarasinghe, will work hard to  bring unity among the two diaspora groups –  Sinhalese and the Tamils (while in the Navy, Admiral Samarasinghe immensely helped the Tamil civilians in North and East of Sri Lanka). In mid 1990s the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Australia made a similar protest to prevent the appointment of Major General Janaka Perera from being appointed as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Australia. This attempt was futile as the then Australia Government disregarded such unfair request from the Sri Lankan Tamils in  Australia and appointed Mr Perera as the High Commissioner of Australia. Mr Perera  carried out his duties very well. Upon his return to Sri Lanka, he and his wife, were killed by the Tamil guerrillas by detonating a suicide bomb (such are the drastic acts of the Tamil terrorists, the Tamil Tigers).

(2)   We are very disappointed about the Motion filed against Sri Lanka in the federal parliament by Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, requesting Australia to demand the UN to  investigate the allege war crimes charges against Sri Lanka. This is a totally baseless allegation. Australia should acknowledge that Sri Lanka is a good friend of Sri Lanka, and Australia should refrain from being hostile to Sri Lanka, without any valid reason (the friendship between Sri Lanka and Australia is old and have always been strong).  During the last stages of the war Sri Lankan Government took all steps to protect the Tamil people. During this time the Sri Lankan Government did not intentionally, recklessly or negligently kill any of the Tamil civilians. The allegations mounted against the Government of Sri Lanka by people with various vested interests are baseless and made out of malice. Many Australian parliamentarians and officials have been misled by the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Australia,  whose only objective is to create a separate state in Sri Lanka. Because they could not fulfil the desire to achieve the separate state through means of the Tamil Tigers, they are now trying to achieve it by spreading fabricated stories about Sri Lanka, to tarnish its image. Initially the false claim was that few hundred civilians were killed (with commencement of the “ƒ”¹…”Stop the Genocide’ campaign by Tamil Separatists worldwide), now the claim has escalated to several thousands “”…” the last figure “”…” we believe is that over 40,000 civilians were killed!  With time to come the figure could further increase. It is the Tamil terrorists who kept the innocent Tamil people as a human shield, and they fired at those who fled the “No  Fire Zone’ established by the Sri Lankan Government. After the war the Government resettled almost all of the displaced Tamil people, within a record time. This is an act that should be highly commended by Australia.

(3)   Australia should not encourage the Sri Lankan Tamil people to come to Sri Lanka in boats. They are nothing but economic migrants. In Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, Sinhalese and Tamils live amicably. In the city of  Colombo more than 40% of the population is Tamil. Tamils lead the business and commerce in Colombo and rest of the major cities in Sri Lanka. If the Tamils are racially discriminated against in Sri Lanka, then such positive things cannot take place in contemporary Sri Lanka.

(4)   After the end of the war, Sri Lanka needs investments to develop the country. Unfortunately, not much aid has been given to Sri Lanka by Australia in the last 2 years, since the end of the war. We ask you to encourage the Australian Government to give more aid to Sri Lanka and Australian businesses to invest in Sri Lanka, so that all people especially the Tamils in the North and East will benefit.

(5)   Australia should help Sri Lanka to recover from the recent severe floods.  Over 1 million were very badly affected.  We ask you to encourage Australian Government to  give more aid to Sri Lanka.

(6)   After the end of the war (nearly 2 years ago now) Australia has become a haven for the Tamil Tigers. Australia is the only western country that has not banned the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). We ask  Australia to ban them, at least now quite belatedly (it was only a few days ago that the European Union  imposed a further ban on the Tamil guerrillas, who are  considered as the most brutal terrorist group ever). If the Tamil Tigers are not banned in Australia, the Sri Lankan Tamils in Australia will continue to send money to Sri Lanka (some under immense pressure from the Tamil terrorist elements in Australia), to re-commence terrorist operations in Sri Lanka. Australia should ban the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization (the only western country, with New Zealand,  that has failed to ban them). Otherwise one day terrorism will re-emerge in Sri Lanka. This will bring immense misery back to Sri Lanka, causing hardship to all communities. Re-emergence of the Tamil Tigers will have adverse effects on Australia as well, including more boat people coming to Australia, and increased organised crimes among the Sri Lankan Tamils in Australia, including assaults on the Sinhalese (such as the acid attack on two Sydney students, attacks on the Melbourne restaurants),    money laundering, extortion and people smuggling work.

(7)   Any other matters of interest.

We again thank you for the opportunity granted to us today.

 We look forward to a further meeting with you and your office soon.

 Yours sincerely

 President
Sri Lanka Support Group

2 Responses to ““MEETING WITH THE AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN OFFICE – CANBERRA 1 MARCH 2011”, SRI LANKA SUPPORT GROUP, CANBERRA”

  1. Naram Says:

    I do hope Australian MPs would visit Sri Lanka on a fact finding tour and speak with the population rescued from the grip of terrorism, who no longer have to hand over their children to fight to realise the monoethnic dreams of LTTE funders overseas.

    Even leaders of LTTE at one time like Pillayan, Muralitharan, Pathmanathan accept the lunacy of their action and have joined the mainstream political parties to build the infrastructure. It is time Autralians developed a greater understanding of many hurdles that poorer nations h face in a tme of globalisation by rich desparate adventurers based in the West ready to destroy whole countries for imagined slights or for massive gains. THe marginal nature of many urban electorates in metropolitan countries have given the LTTE organisations leverage and many a politician has succumbed to sing praises of the terrorist to gain supposed ‘Tamil vote Block’. I am sure these politicians do not know the evils of nature of ethnic cleansing LTTE carried out or the bestial nature of the caste ridden impenetrable Jaffna society of the ’70s they were trying hard to restore.

  2. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    All foreign Governments and organisations must understand what happened in SriLanka was not a war between the Tamils on one side and the Sinhalese majority and other minorities on the other side. It was a clash between the Tamil Terrorists trying to carve out a state through ethnic cleansing of non-tamils and the Security forces trying to protect the human rights of all citizens including the over 300,000 tamil hostages herded around by the LTTE as a human shield.
    Previously the same security forces had a similar situation when they had to battle the mainly sinhalese marxist JVP terrorists, which carried out their brand of terorism for decades. Just like the vast majority of sinhalese are now happy with the erradication of JVP terrorists, the vast majority of Tamils are also happy that the LTTE terrorists were got rid of from SriLanka. Unfortunately some of the violent LTTE members have escaped to Western Nations and are now spearheading a slander campaign against SriLanka, using their immense collection of illgotten funds and businesses.
    It is the responsibility of Western Nations to investigate their activities, rather than believe their fabricated versions of the conflict and also unintentionally falling into the trap of allowing groups like the Tamil Terrorists to dictate to Western Governments, politicians and journalists.

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