Australia secured asylum deal by staying ‘silent’ on rights abuses: Sri Lanka PM
Posted on February 25th, 2015

Courtesy  The Guardian

Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says former president agreed to help stop boats carrying asylum seekers if Australian government kept quiet Ranil Wickremesinghe Ranil Wickremesinghe said Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s close relationship with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was ‘a mystery’ to Sri Lankans.

Australia stayed silent on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka in exchange for cooperation in cracking down on people-smuggling, Colombo’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday.

Wickremesinghe said former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had agreed to help stop boats carrying asylum seekers leaving for Australia if Canberra kept quiet about alleged abuses committed by the previous regime.

In an interview with the Australian newspaper, Wickremesinghe said Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s close relationship with Rajapaksa, who was voted out of power last month, was a mystery” to Sri Lankans.

Colombo’s new premier also said that people connected to the previous government” had taken part in people-smuggling operations.

It was being done by people with Rajapaksa connections, but once this deal was done between Australia and the Rajapaksa government, where you looked the other way [on human rights abuses], then the secretary of defence got the navy to patrol,” he told the broadsheet.

You could not have got anyone out of this country without someone in the security system looking the other way, the police or the navy.”

The arrival of asylum seekers by boat is a sensitive political issue in Australia, which in 2013 started sending those picked up on boats to offshore camps on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru.

Most asylum-seeker boats that have made the precarious journey to Australia came from Indonesia, but 120 left from Sri Lanka in 2012 for what can be a voyage of up to three weeks.

Wickremesinghe said he was not against the Australian government, but urged them to learn from their experiences.


Some other countries must also, that fully backed the Rajapaksa regime,” he told the newspaper. When human rights were being trampled, and democracy was at bay, these countries were silent. That is an issue for Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka’s new government has promised a domestic probe into alleged war crimes under Rajapaksa.

The previous regime had resisted a UN inquiry into claims that up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed under Rajapaksa’s command in the final months of a war that ended in May 2009.

Ahead of travelling to Sri Lanka in 2013 for a Commonwealth summit, Abbott said he said he was not inclined to go overseas and give other countries lectures”.

His office had no immediate comment to Wickremesinghe’s comments in the Australian.

12 Responses to “Australia secured asylum deal by staying ‘silent’ on rights abuses: Sri Lanka PM”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Human rights abuses as stated by the UN human rights Council has several sets of laws:

    -one for developed western nations
    -one for non Muslim developing nations
    -one for Communist nations
    -one for Muslim nations
    -one for themselves.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    This shows the lack of knowledge of this dirty politician of what is happening in the National front. This Thoppigala fella does not know it was Thisara Samarasinghe, our previous Navy Commander who worked tirelessly to convince Australian mindset otherwise influenced by the West and LieTTE Die-Ass-pora. Rajapaksa did not have to do anything when Hon. Thisara did his job right.

    Poor show for a Statesman and a PM representing Sri Lanka. This shows his back door attitude.

  3. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Kankani from the island has spoken on behalf of the Samrat (Emperor) of the Bharat Smarajya (Indian Empire). Interview was from the Australian is a News paper Corporation while Guardian is a paper which is a pro Indian.
    The reason for the Australian PM decision is he and most of the Australians are aware of the Indian Empire and its evolving massive military power and international political power. We see it form the presidential election, trawlers, visit from Indians Kamalesh, Biswal, Singapore Foreign Minister to name a few. Prime Minister Abbot was an editor of Bulletin, now defunct in the eighties and was against the influx of Indians from the island as refugees. He has cut down the Indians arriving from the island claiming refugee status. Jai Hind

  4. ranjit Says:

    A loser is always a loser. he will do every trick in the book to stay in power.This is a chance he do not want to miss that’s why he is suggesting to have a national Govt. This tricky guy have a foul mouth and his talk is good for the gallery. He don’t act like a statesman. He is a American lover and work according to their agenda.

    This dirty harry has forgotten how Mahinda treated him while he was the Opposition leader. He always respected his enemies and treated them all alike but this shameless guy always tried to put Mahinda down accusing him unnecessarily and calling by names. People must get united to send this guy on retirement if not we will not be able to keep our sovereign state intact in one piece. This ungrateful Christian liar who do not even respect the Buddhist Monks should be kicked out in the next General election somehow if people in this country needs real peace.

  5. nilwala Says:

    This is a big mistake on the part of RW….but it is in order to get abbot to pull back from China. He finds himself having bitten off more than he can chew and is showing clear signs of being stressed out…

  6. Sirih Says:

    Ranil got foot and mouth disease… This guy does not understand national interest vs politics.
    Disgrace and downright fool.

  7. L Perera Says:

    Tony Abbott and many in his government (unlike Britain’s Cameron and Canada’s Harper) do not and do not need to
    to play ETHNO POLITICS. He promised the Australian voter, to STOP THE BOATS. One his ministers asked the questioned
    how more than 50 per cent of the Northern Tamils lived outside their traditional lands for over a century and claim they were victims of GENOCIDE. The bottom line is that there were too many ECONOMIC MIGRANTS from Sri Lanka trying to jump the queue under false pretexts and depriving the genuine refugees of a safe sanctuary. This would not be a MYSTERY to even a 5th grader.

  8. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    EVERY ONE WEARING “”TIE AND COAT”” DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A GENTLEMAN. This is a low down manipulator in **HEAT** after the Nugegoda Rally. He is apparently singing the swan song.


    To Begin with, British Guardian is not a friendly news paper to Sri Lankans. Tamil Sangham in UK controls it. What they write is for the consumption of Tamil’s living and subscribing to making Sri Lanka a Tamil only state.
    1. Nilwala, Ranil is not stressed out! He has Dementia, and any day he will fall DEAD. “Bitten off more than he can ” Doesn’t apply to him. OBAMA has given him protection and funds to survive indefinitely.
    2. Sirih, Your right he has Foot and Mouth. Look closely for a photograph taken in February, His mouth has blisters on the left hand side which he covers with make-up. Sirith, he is not a fool, but a mentally retarded person with an vengeance to Sinhala Buddhists. He planned this take over in March 2012. Obama gave him six planners who came as tourists and renewed their visa’s regularly. Bribed heavily, the visa issuing authority. How did this man took control of total system of electing a president? It is this disgraceful down right TRAITOR, JVP terrorist, Dashapriya, the election commissioner.
    3. L Perera, I agree with you 100% I do not get Australian news, since I live in state of Florida, USA.
    4. Susantha Wijesinhe, The description you used is perfect. “Low Down manipulator”. This is the info I have and do not have any proof: After the Nugagoda Rally, Ranil’s astrologers advice him not to appear in public meetings and not to travel out side of Colombo. If he ignores this advice his life is in danger. This message was also conveyed to Srisena President. This is why Sirisena President and his wife went to the KOVILA and did the puja on the Maha Siva Rathree.
    I think Srisena President’s wife is TAMIL HINDU and attends every Hindu festival since the day Sirisena President got his ministry. That is last five years!

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Tamil folk in Lanka have been converting to other religions including Buddhism. They also marry people of other faith. Sri Lankans probably have mostly South Indian genes. We do not mind this at all, if the person is basically a good, life supportive person.

    My family folk, Sinhala/Buddhists of South Lanka, in the 1950-60 period especially, would go to the K’gama Kovils before exams etc.

    Divide and Rule suits enemies of Lanka.

  11. Nimal Says:

    Ranil Wicramasinghe is absolutely right and I am surprised to read these comments from people who may be living in the West, perhaps as refugees who constantly write so much against the colonial type and Western countries.
    You people can’t see that the West is willing to have double standards and willing to trample the international conventions where they have to accept refugees. Two bit politicians in the third world are willing encourage their duplicity.
    Truly shameful that our governments are willing partners to their double standards.
    Recently a similar situation occurred where Australia having put pressure got that Aljazeera reporter released who is white while his two mates were kept in prision,until the decent people in the Western countries put pressure. Two bit leaders in Egypt too gave in to their double standards.
    I am glad that Indonesia will not give in to the Australians to save the Australian drug pushers from execution.
    No wonder the Western countries treat our innocent citizens like dirt and non of our governments ever spoke for them.
    I hope the likes of JVP will support brave politicians like Ranil who will speak for the legitimate rights of the third world. No wonder our countries are poor and in a mess and our leaders are to be blamed.
    We need the likes of the western people comeback and sort our countries, they way they started in 1815.If ever they, for augment sake ever administer the island they will not allow another country to trample the rights of people and expect another power to make us abuse any rights of anyone.
    I am for all the good work done by the colonials but never give in to them abusing anyone and it is too difficult for some to see the logic, but Ranil do.Like him I appreciate the western culture where this particular culture will never condone human rights abuse or interfering in the affairs of another sovereign nation. We seems to cut the head to spite the nose. Likes of Ranil,if in great numbers in many third world countries will put the shivers down the spines of the western countries.

  12. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Fran Diaz
    All you say is true but what you left out is that Tamils have a homeland. The Tamil Language and culture is the basis for the Dravidian cultures of South India.

    Singhalese have only Sri Lanka as a homeland. THE SINGHALESE CANNOT BE GREGARIOUS TO ANYONE ON THIS ISSUE.

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