Speaking at a seminar organised to remember Black July 1983, MPs and activists outlined their support for an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka and offered support to the Tamil right to self-determination.
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MP Metiria Turei, leader of the Parliamentary Group as well as co-leader of the Green Party, said that her party was “determined to mount pressure to expel the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand Commodore Tissara Samarasinghe, formerly of the Sri Lankan Navy.” As they were not prepared to “allow people associated with human rights violations and war crimes to defile the decorum and ethics hitherto maintained in diplomatic practices.”
MP Phil Goff, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Labour Party, ended his speech outlining the importance of reconciliation, noting that, “No reconciliation can be achieved without justice being meted out fist and the victims adequately compensated. But nothing towards reconciliation has taken place in Sri Lanka except words and more words.”
The seminar was chaired by Dr Siva Vasanthan who called for direct UN monitoring of the processes in the island. Many other Eelam participants presented papers on Genocide, Culture Demolition and emerging trends, the Quest for Justice and A Generation Condemned to Extinction.