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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: In the foreign aid budget, what percentage and what dollar amount is allocated to non-government organisations?

Mr McDonald : I need the CFO for that answer.

Senator RHIANNON: I will keep going, then. In previous Senate estimates, former Foreign Minister Bob Carr spoke about four allegations of the mistreatment of Tamils that have been investigated. Are you aware if there have been further allegations apart from those four?

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Take back torture comments, Senate urges Prime Minister

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be asked to justify his remarks excusing torture in Sri Lanka following the success of an Australian Greens motion today.

The motion by Senator Penny Wright and Senator Lee Rhiannon called on Mr Abbott to retract his comments that 'we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen' and was passed with the support of the opposition.

"There are absolutely no circumstances where torture is justifiable," Australian Greens spokesperson on Human Rights Senator Wright said.

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Australian Senate calls on PM Abbott to raise Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses at CHOGM

Lee Rhiannon 14 Nov 2013

The Australian Senate has rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s stance on human rights abuses in Sri Lankan, and called on the Prime Minister to raise an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law with the President of Sri Lanka at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo. 

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Tony Abbott’s public comments that human rights abuses in Sri Lanka comes second to his inhumane domestic policies about so called ‘boat people’ are disgraceful. 

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