Sri Lanka must pay in Australia for its crimes back home

Following last week’s strong Age editorial on the situation in Sri Lanka, the following letter appeared in Saturday’s edition:

Many thanks for your editorial (”Sri Lanka’s ripples go far beyond the island”,… The Age, 11/2) on the intensifying repression in Sri Lanka. Canberra has restricted itself to tokenistic responses out of a wrong-headed belief that things will ”˜’settle down” and an overly narrow conception of Australian interests. Instead, it should join the European Union in backing the call, made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for an independent international investigation of war crimes allegations and in withholding trade concessions unless there is improvement in the human rights situation.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have a chance to register stronger concern. The 1970 cancellation of apartheid South Africa’s tour of England showed the strength of sporting boycotts in inducing social change. We urge you not to attend the cricket when the Sri Lankan team visits Australia later this year, write to Cricket Australia asking that the tour be cancelled and unite for human rights when official diplomacy fails.

Jake Lynch, Gobie Rajalingam and Brami Jegan, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney, NSW

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