Australia Supports Sri Lanka, Rejects allegations
Australian Foreign affairs officials say they saw no reason to keep Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia from taking up his posting.
The Australian Greens and Tamil groups want Thisara Samarasinghe recalled or expelled over unproven claims he is responsible for war crimes.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Secretary Dennis Richardson said his department advised Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to approve Admiral Samarasinghe’s appointment earlier this year, despite the opposition of Tamil groups.
“We saw no reason for him to be denied agreement,” Mr Richardson told a Senate estimates committee in Canberra on Thursday. DFAT provided its initial advice on February 10. Mr Rudd approved the appointment on April 2.
Mr Richardson also defended Australia’s High Commissioner to Colombo Kathy Klugman, who praised the Sri Lankan navy for intercepting a people smuggling boat last month.
“I think it was entirely appropriate,” he said.
Sri Lanka News-Adaderana-Truth First - Aussie Foreign Affairs Dept. backs Samarasinghe appointment