Liberals and Greens mount pressure on Australian Government

SHADOW foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop has demanded that Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd reveal whether the government knew about the allegations against Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe before it accepted him as Sri Lanka's high commissioner

Ms Bishop told The Age yesterday: ''The allegations against the Sri Lankan high commissioner are extremely serious. Kevin Rudd should review whether the government was aware of the allegations prior to accepting his appointment as high commissioner, and whether the government undertook any inquiries or investigations into the appointment.''

An official from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet confirmed during a Senate hearing yesterday that the Prime Minister had been given ''advice'' about Mr Samarasinghe's appointment, but was unable to say what that advice was or when it was given.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said it would be inappropriate to comment on the ICJA brief as it was being considered by the federal police.

She also said there was ''an expectation that Sri Lanka will be the subject of discussion by Commonwealth members'' at the CHOGM meeting next week...

The Greens called for Mr Rudd to push for members of the Sri Lankan government to be brought before the International Criminal Court - despite the fact Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the court - and for the federal government to ban Sri Lankans from CHOGM, which meets in Perth next week...

President of the ICJA and former attorney-general John Dowd said those responsible for war crimes should not be allowed to go unpunished.