Question On Notice, Thursday 20 September 2011
(Question No. 1230)
Senator Rhiannon asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 20th September 2011:
1. What steps has the Australian Government taken, or is taking to investigate whether Sri Lankan officials seeking to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2011 have not been implicated in war crimes.
2. Have any of the members of the delegation travelling with President Mahinda Rajapaske sought certificates from the Australian Government confirming immunity from any possible legal proceeding in Australia.
Senator Carr- the answer to the Honourable Senator’s questions is as follows:
1. Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Australian section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJA) sent the Australian Federal Police (AFP) a report that contained all the allegations that President Mahinda Rajapaske and Admiral Samarasinghe (both members of Sri Lanka’s Delegation to CHOGM) were involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war. The AFP stated publicly in October 2011 that it was evaluating the ICJA report. The status of the evaluation is a matter for the AFP. Department if Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) screening procedures are a matter for the Immigration and Citizenship.