Ex-Aussie PM Abbott defends stand on ignoring Lanka’s rights violations

, 2:44 PM IST

Colombo : Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has countered criticism for supporting former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for action taken to end Sri Lanka’s civil war and ignoring Sri Lanka’s human right violations in order to stop asylum seeker boats coming to Australia.

Abbott said as prime minister, he was determined to advance Australia’s interests, protect its citizens and uphold their values around the world and the best way to do this was usually to be as practically helpful as possible in the dealings with other countries, reports the Colombo Page website.

Abbott quoted in his essay that”I’m sure that the Sri Lankan president was pleased that Australia didn’t join the human rights lobby against the tough but probably unavoidable actions taken to end one of the world’s most vicious civil wars,”.

He underscored that both countries became even stronger partners in the Abbott government’s most urgent initial to end the people-smuggling trade.

During the Rajapaksa administration, Australia and Sri Lanka strengthened their bilateral relations and the two countries have cooperated in curbing human smuggling to Australia across the Indian Ocean.(ANI)