Australia must take action against Sri Lanka war criminals

While most Australian journalists dutifully followed Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard around the US recently – remind me why so many hacks travel there and do nothing but report on press conferences and fawning speeches in Congress? – Inner City Press at the UN in New York asks real questions:

Sri Lankan citizen Palitha Kohona is the subject of a filing with the International Criminal Court for his role in presumptive war crimes in the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. When contacted by the press, Kohona has refused to “dignify” the case.

On March 9, Inner City Press asked Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard about this filing against Kohona, who has also represented Australia before he represented Sri Lanka, and about the UN’s and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s handling of his Panel on Sri Lanka, which has not visited the island. Video here.

“I’m not personally aware of all details of that case,” she answered. “We are a supporter of the ICC and a supporter of proper legal procedure and practice, one rule… is that political leaders should not comment on legal matters that are underway.”

While some of the journalists traveling with Prime Minister Gillard later called this a dodge, it’s more than the UN has had to say.

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