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Australian Labor Party must reject McDermott’s claim of Genocide in SL: SPUR

The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) has urged the Australian Labor Party to reject Labor MP Hugh McDermott’s claim of Genocide in Sri Lanka.

SPUR releaseing a statement today said, “SPUR as a long-serving organisation representing Australians of Sri Lankan origin, deplores the ethnically divisive and blatantly inaccurate statement made by Hugh McDermott, the Labor MP for Prospect, NSW on the 11th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s hard-won peace through eradicating terrorism and restoring the territorial integrity of the island nation.”

“McDermott also made outrageous allegations of a “genocide that targeted the Tamil community in Sri Lanka resulting in the death of 160,000 innocent unarmed men, women and children” and that “many were murdered because of their culture, faith, language and traditions”. This inflammatory statement is a blatant lie.

“McDermott’s fanciful claims can be rebutted using numerous on-ground accounts and credible reports, some from within the Tamil community itself. An exhaustive study of casualty figures was done by Rt Hon. Lord Naseby, Chairman of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka. The House of Lords was informed on 07 January 2020 that Lord Naseby “spent 10 years looking at reports by the UK’s Military attaché in Colombo Col. Anthony Gash, Tamil university teachers, census data and all the coverage that I could find. The net result is about 6,000 people killed, of which a quarter are Tiger Terrorists”. Referring to War Crimes allegations, he said, “Colonel Gash’s reports made it clear that the army behaved admirably and looked after the civilians. If it had wanted to knock them off, then over 295,000 would not have been safely brought across the lines to safety, would they” end quote.

“Obviously, McDermott has chosen to ignore facts and figures that do not fit the false narrative socialised by the Pro-LTTE lobby, which itself is a major obstacle to reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, his inflammatory statements have caused tension and distrust among Australians of Sri Lankan background and damaged the good relationship between the wider Sri Lankan community and the Australian Labor Party.
19th May 2009 marks the end of a three-decade long tyranny of the Tamil Tiger Terrorists who had used suicide bombings, blowing up of public transport, assassinating political rivals including non-compliant Tamils, as well as ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims civilians from Sri Lanka’s North and the East. This day is also remembered for the bravery and sacrifices of Sri Lanka’s Defence Forces and the determination of its people for collectively safeguarding the sovereignty, unitary state and the territorial integrity of the nation.

“The Tamil community too suffered greatly at the hands of the LTTE, with the forcible conscription of child soldiers and the use of captive civilians as human shields. It is only the advancing Sri Lankan security forces that liberated large numbers of Tamil civilians used as human shields during the final phase of the conflict. Thousands of LTTE cadres who surrendered at the end of hostilities were rehabilitated, and provided skills for returning to civilian life. Tamil Sri Lankans in the North and East are now able to benefit from demining, resettlement, education, healthcare, transport and economic development as well as participate in Provincial Government elections. McDermott conveniently ignores that Tamil is a National Language and that the

“Tamil/Hindu community is specifically acknowledged by representing them on Sri Lanka’s National Flag.
In conclusion, we request the Australian Labor Party to reference one of its most respected leaders, the former Foreign Minister Hon Bob Carr who “noted the 35 years of civil war and wondered why people don’t dwell on the Tamil Tigers’ human rights abuses, including inventing suicide bombing and using women and children as cannon fodder pointing out that if the Tigers had managed to carve out a ‘homeland’ in the north, it would have been pretty much like the Pol Pot Regime”. Hon Carr went on to rejected the notion that “Australian foreign policy should be set by members of Diasporas that find their way here”.

“We urge the Australian Labor Party to reject McDermott’s inflammatory and fabricated narrative on Sri Lanka, “SPUR said.