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Motion: Suspension of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth

Lee Rhiannon 22 Sep 2011

Motions, Thursday 22 September 2011

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:31): I move:

That the Senate—

  1. notes:
    1. a roundtable meeting held in Federal Parliament supported a call for Sri Lanka to be suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth because it has:
      1. refused to hold an independent investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the civil war in 2009, and
      2. breached its commitment to uphold the 'rule of law' in the Commonwealth's values and principles, as set out in the Millbrook Commonwealth Action Program,
    2. a precedent was set for temporarily suspending a country from the Councils of the Commonwealth when Pakistan was suspended in 1999 and Fiji was suspended in 2000 and 2006, and
    3. the Sri Lankan President is planning to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in October 2011; and
  2. calls on the Australian Government to support calls for Sri Lanka to be suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth until the Government of Sri Lanka:
    1. agrees to an international independent investigation into war crimes,
    2. restores human rights and the rule of law, and
    3. implements all of the recommendations of the United Nations Expert Panel Report on War Crimes in Sri Lanka.

Question put:
That the motion (Senator Rhiannon's) be agreed to.

The Senate divided. [13:35]

(The President—Senator JJ Hogg)
Ayes   9
Noes   39
Majority   30

Question negatived.

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