Australia/Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan government under fire as President visits Australia

Siritunga Jayasuriya, secretary of the United Socialist Party (CWI) Sri Lanka, has made a stinging public attack on the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa while in Australia at the same time as the president.

Rajapaksa will be attending at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the city of Perth. Siritunga will be a key guest speaker at the ‘Socialism 2011’ event hosted by the Socialist Party (CWI in Australia) this weekend in Melbourne. Siritunga will be speaking out about the Sri Lankan government’s war crimes and its crack down on democratic rights.

Siritunga was interviewed by the ‘Connect Asia’ radio programme produced by Australia’s public broadcaster and heard around the entire Asia-Pacific region. To listen to the programme click here

In a press release Siritunga told the Australian media “while Rajapaksa is sitting around with the heads of the Commonwealth claiming to be a champion of democracy, I want to tell the Australian people the real story.

“Sri Lanka is quickly becoming a dictatorial regime. Rajapaksa wants to extend his term of Presidency and since the end of the war the military is running many aspects of society.

“The government’s victory over the Tamil Tigers has not gone any way towards establishing peace. In fact the government has moved to implement military rule in the north and removed democratic rights for people across the whole country.

“Journalists, human rights campaigners, trade unionists, and socialists, like myself, are branded by the government as traitors. Tamil people are refused their own homeland and are forced to live under constant military harassment.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

“With all this being the case, it is shameful that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government openly supports the Rajapaksa regime.

“Gillard, along with all the other heads of the Commonwealth, must accept that they too have blood on their hands”