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Tony Abbott on Sri Lanka

Tony Abbott on Sri Lanka

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Published by danielhurst
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott comments on Sri Lanka and human rights in Colombo, November 15, CHOGM event. Partial transcript
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott comments on Sri Lanka and human rights in Colombo, November 15, CHOGM event. Partial transcript

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Published by: danielhurst on Nov 15, 2013
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11/15/2013

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Partial transcript: Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sri Lanka andhuman rights in Colombo, November 15, CHOGM
...Journalist: Mr Abbott, will you be raising issues of human rights concerns with the Sri Lankanleader directly and have you been holding back your criticism because of the need for co-oporation over boats? Abbott: Two points: First, we have to appreciate that Sri Lanka experienced a horrific, a horrificcivil war; a quarter century long civil war of almost unimaginable ferocity. The best thing you cando in a situation like that is end it. And I think we should welcome the ending of this horrific civilwar. Having ended it, obviously it's important that there be reconciliation and the Sri Lankangovernment has made various commitments and I would expect those commitments to behonoured. My understanding is that the Sri Lankan government is doing its best to honour thosecommitments and that's what we want - we want a Sri Lanka where people of different ethnicity,different faith, can live and work together in peace and harmony in ever-increasing freedom andprosperity. This country has a great deal of potential; it can be one of the jewels of Asia and Iwant to encourage that, not discourage it....Journalist: The charter as well...there has obviously been talk in recent days that Sri Lanka takingthe Commonwealth chairmanship for the next two years is making a mockery of that charter,particularly given it's likely in the next four months it will have to explain itself again before theHuman Rights Council and potentially even be the subject of an international war crimesinvestigation. Does that not make a mockery of our charter and the Commonwealth in general?The fact that Sri Lanka is hosting this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the factthat Sri Lanka has subscribed to the charter demonstrates its good faith and demonstrates itsdetermination to try to live up to the charter. Now, it is not always easy to live up to these ideals.The important thing is to constantly strive to come closer to our best selves; that's the importantthing. Sri Lanka, since the end of the civil war, is undoubtedly much more free, much moreprosperous and has got a much better future and that's good for everyone....Journalist: Mr Abbott, does your government support calls by William Hague for an independentinvestigation into rape by the Sri Lankan army...? Abbott: I'm not aware of those calls. I think the important thing is for the Sri Lankan governmentto press ahead with the task of reconciliation. Sri Lanka made some generous and appropriate

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