Courtesy of WA Today– http://www.watoday.com.au/national/controversial-diplomat-snares-gillard-role-20120118-1q6kl.html … SEE Addendum at end**
A TOP Australian diplomat heavily criticised for her role in ”rehabilitation” ceremonies for alleged Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka has been rewarded with a job in Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s department. Kathy Klugman will become head of the international division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, a key foreign policy job.
Ms Klugman, who was high commissioner in Colombo until this month, was condemned by rights groups in October for handing out certificates to Tamils after they were held for two years in a detention camp by the Sri Lankan government.
She was earlier criticised for publicly praising Sri Lanka’s security forces after they intercepted a boat carrying 44 asylum seekers, including two children, bound for Australia. The Australian branch of the International Commission of Jurists and the Greens complained at the time that Australia had ignored obligations under refugee conventions. Six of the asylum seekers were later detained under anti-terrorism laws in Sri Lanka as alleged former fighters with the Tamil Tigers. Up to 10,000 Tamils were later rounded up and kept in camps.
Ms Klugman’s appointment was announced in an email to departmental staff. The government is struggling to fill several senior positions in the bureaucracy, including the Labor-created role of National Security Adviser.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced diplomat Robyn Mudie would be the next high commissioner to Sri Lanka.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Department said: ”This was a competitive, merit-based selection. Ms Klugman is an experienced officer with a strong record of service.”
ADDENDUM: This article drew the followiing retort from an Australian lady in WA Today:
The Editor WA Today.
I refer to your ‘senior’ correspondent Daniel Flitton’s great ‘newsworthy’ article on Ms. Kathy Klugman’s ‘controversial’ appointment (http://www.watoday.com.au/national/controversial-diplomat-snares-gillard-role-20120118-1q6kl.html).
Perhaps, Daniel did not know that there were two Australian women who played a significant role in Sri Lanka recently.
The first, an Aussie nurse, Adele, married to a Tamil Tiger leader went and lived in Sri Lanka. She put in a great effort to train and make Tamil women into walking bombs and trained Tamil girls on how to commit suicide by biting on a cyanide capsule which she ceremoniously put around the necks of the young girls. You can see her in action here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqbj8PHTtHY. Your ‘senior’ correspondent Daniel did not have anything to say about this Aussie and guess what, this alleged war criminal leads a comfortable life in London now protected by the UK authorities.
Then we have the second woman, Kathy, who did a tremendous job in stopping the flow of economic refugees to Australia. I personally know that she was an ardent sponsor and supporter of the Cancer Hospital in Sri Lanka to help Sri Lankans of all ethnicities.
I find it appalling that Daniel saw fit to ridicule a woman who safegaurded Australian interests and did her best to help out all Sri Lankans to the best of her ability.
Perhaps, if Kathy chose to put cyanide capsules around Tamil Tigers instead of giving out certificates for rehabilitation, she would have been praised by the so-called ‘senior’ correspondents. I guess, Kathy’s crime was that she refused to share the blood money offered by the Tamil Tigers for singing hosannas about their utopia.
Come on Danny, don’t rubbish those who serve this country even if you get offerred a lot of money for doing so – Australia, surely is more important to you than that? I hope the ‘senior’ correspondent Daniel will join us in celebrating the Australia Day on the 26th.
ALSO SEE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqbj8PHTtHY&feature=player_embedded#! entitled White Tiger of the West – Adele Balasingham runs London protests from New Malden