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Speech: Sri Lanka

Adjournment speech, Tuesday 15 August 2012

Senator RHIANNON: Tonight I would like to share with members information about Sri Lanka. I recently received some distressing information in my email inbox, which paints a disturbing picture of the day to-day realities for Tamils in Sri Lanka. I commend the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna in Sri Lanka for taking the brave decision to author and release their statement.

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Turn up heat on Sri Lankan High Commissioner: Greens

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called for the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe to be recalled, following today's reports that he oversaw efforts to stop Tamil asylum-seekers fleeing by boat to escape the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka in 2009.

"These boastful claims by the High Commissioner are embarrassing to the Australian government and raise the question of why Mr Samarasinghe continues to hold his position while allegations of his involvement in war crimes hang over his head" said Senator Rhiannon.

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Blog: Senate Estimates - democracy in action?

Blog by Senator Lee Rhiannon

For two weeks in May at the Senate Budget Estimates all Senators had the opportunity to question Ministers and the public sector workers in their departments. The big challenge is not the duration - sessions go from 9 am to 11 pm each day - but to ask the right questions.

Below is a quick tour of Estimate highlights and here you can review all my sessions.

Overseas development

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Government aid decision a mistake: Greens

Senator Rhiannon also gave a press conference on this issue on 9 May.

The Australian Greens say the government's decision to defer the promised increase in overseas aid in this year's budget is a serious mistake. 

"It is disappointing that because it locked itself into obtaining a surplus the government has broken its commitment to increase foreign aid," Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

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