Written by Staff Writer
24 Feb, 2014 | 9:13 pm
Australian media reports say that diplomats preparing for the UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva next month have expressed concern that Australia is working to actively undermine a push for an international inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, because of the Sri Lankan government’s eagerness to co-operate with Australia on the matter of asylum seekers.
In November, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, announced that the government would give Sri Lanka two Bay-class patrol boats, at a cost of two million Australian dollars, to help Sri Lanka stem the flow of asylum seekers to Australia.
Today, the Sydney Morning Herald, quoting well-placed sources involved in the preparations for the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, said there is “deep concern” among the United States and British officials on Australia’s position.
Meanwhile, Australia’s ABC News reports that human rights and asylum seeker advocates are condemning a decision to employ a former Sri Lankan military officer as the acting manager of the Manus Island detention camp.
ABC News reports that the former officer Dinesh Perera, has been running the Manus Island facility for the G4S security company.
ABC News quoted the director of advocacy and research at the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, Emily Howie, as saying that the officer should be removed.
ABC News reported that in a brief telephone conversation with the ABC, Perera had confirmed that he was currently running the Manus Island facility and that he had previously served as an officer of the Sri Lankan military, however, he had refused to comment further.
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