Australian Tamil Congress welcomes Australia's new Prime Minister

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) welcomes the announcement of Hon. Julia Gillard as our Prime Minister. The ATC Womens Advocacy Team is in particular proud to note Hon. Julia Gillard is our first female leader of the country.

Australian Tamil Congress Welcomes Senate Motion

The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) welcomes the motion on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka proposed by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and passed with support from all major parties in the Australian Senate on Thursday 24 June 2010.

Following Tuesday's announcement by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General of a three-member advisory panel on alleged human rights abuses during the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009, the ATC hopes the UN will soon take the next step towards actually investigating these alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.


That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the recent report from the International Crisis Group on War Crimes in Sri Lanka;

(ii) this report recommends, among other things, for the United Nations to conduct an independent international inquiry into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during the last year of the conflict;

(b) welcomes:

(i) The United Nations Secretary General’s establishment of an Advisory Panel on Sri Lanka;

(ii) The establishment in Sri Lanka of a Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, and urges the Sri Lankan Government to ensure the Commission operates in an independent way; and

(c) reaffirms the importance of credible investigations into all allegations of violations of human rights, and

(d) Calls on the Australian Government to support an effective process of national reconciliation, to allow Sri Lanka to move forward after years of conflict

Tamil women denied the right to live in peace

In developing parts of the world like Sri Lanka, women remain more or less subjugated, writes Kalyani Inpakumar.

As Tamils in Australia, we feel for our brothers and sisters back home in Sri Lanka. The Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) was formed to unit all the Tamil organisations to make our voice more powerful.

ATC is part of a global organisation which is Global Tamil Forum and in March Global Tamil Women’s Forum was also launched.

I am from Tamil Eelam, a land that has been torn by the struggles of war for the last 30 years.

Women are the most vulnerable victims in armed conflicts and post conflict situations. No age group is sheltered from the heinous acts of rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, prostitution and murder.

Australia concedes Tamil Tiger concerns

Australia's Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans has conceded there are concerns about suspected Tamil Tiger rebels being sent back to Sri Lanka.

The government and the Australian Tamil Congress say an international report has highlighted some issues.

The International Crisis Group has called for an independent inquiry into last year's civil war in Sri Lanka and says there's evidence of war crimes committed by both sides.

Dr Sam Pari from the Australian Tamil Congress has welcomed the report, especially the call for any potential witnesses to be protected.

"Because if they're sent back the Sri Lankan government will target them," he said

Senator Evans says while its too early to speculate, sending a suspected Tamil Tiger back is an issue.

"Clearly there is a major problem with the idea of returning serious former Tamil Tiger operatives to Sri Lanka without very strong assurances from the Sri Lankan government," he said.

Earlier this year, the Australian Government froze asylum applications from Tamils, saying conditions in Sri Lanka were improving.

ABC AM – Sri Lanka not safe for war crimes witnesses

The International Crisis Group has called on Australia to support an inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

A Crisis Group report found tens of thousands of Tamils were killed or wounded and hundreds of thousands were denied food and medical care during the last five months of the Sri Lankan civil war.

The report says there are reasonable grounds to believe both the Sri Lankan security forces and the Tamil Tigers committed war crimes last year.

The Crisis Group has urged Australia to grant asylum or protected status to potential witnesses.

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