History Repeating for Sri Lanka's Tamils

"The re-election of a man who unlawfully imprisoned 300,000 men, women and children and whose regime has accrued an appalling human rights record should be condemned"

Dr Sam Pari - Spokesperson for the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's victory in Sri Lanka's Presidential elections virtually guarantees the democratic, social and economic opportunities for Tamils and other minorities in Sri Lanka will remain bleak, according to Dr Sam Pari, spokesperson for The Australian Tamil Congress. "150,000 Tamils remain detained against their will in military run camps. Thousands of people have gone missing without trace and Tamils who have been released face severe restrictions on freedom of movement. Poor voter turnout in the predominantly Tamil areas of the north and east of Sri Lanka show the deep level of resentment and mistrust against both candidates.

"Despite calls by the United Nations for investigations into alleged war crimes, President Rajapaksa continues to resist any cooperation in these investigations. The outcome of this election will continue to hamper the restoration of justice and the ability of the country to move forward through reconciliation - a key component in Sri Lanka's rebuilding process.

"We are extremely concerned for the welfare of Tamils and other minorities in Sri Lanka and once again are calling on the Australian Government and the international community to ensure peace, justice and true democracy are restored. They must take a more active role in holding President Rajapaksa to account and pressure for independent investigations into alleged war crimes", said Dr Pari.

On the issue of asylum seekers, Dr Pari said "the only way to stem the tide of boat people arriving in Australian waters is to address the root cause of why people are fleeing Sri Lanka in the first place- to escape ethnic persecution and a brutal regime which is answerable to no one"

Dr Sam Pari is available for interview on this topic Ph: 0433 428 967