Business of Joint Committee.

The minutes of the meeting of 13 May have been circulated. Are they agreed? Agreed.

Arising from the minutes, I am entirely co-operative about any way the Chairman wants to handle this, but at the last meeting we mentioned the situation in Sri Lanka. It has obviously changed to the extent that the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is visiting Sri Lanka because he wants first-hand information on what has taken place there. A number of humanitarian organisations remain excluded from access to those who have suffered. The International Committee of the Red Cross has been impeded in its work. I suggest this committee should pass a resolution calling on our Minister for Foreign Affairs to maintain the pressure in favour of an independent investigation.

Second, when we visited Palestine on other occasions we met Mr. Ezra Yizhak Nawi who facilitated the delegation of which I was a member in examining the appalling attacks on Palestinians by settlers near Hebron. Mr. Nawi has now been arrested for trying to protect people's homes from stone-throwing. To be consistent, we should issue a letter and call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to take on this case.

Third, it would be remiss of this committee not to issue a strong statement condemning the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and the limited access to her trial. Access has been limited to observers from three neighbouring countries who are not necessarily relied upon to be critical.

Those matters all flow from the minutes of our last meeting. I am entirely open as to how the Chairman may suggest we should handle them. In order to be tidy about it, however, I will propose a motion on Sri Lanka. Senator Norris will be able to speak about the second issue I raised concerning the Palestinian situation, but we should also write a letter. In addition, we should also write to express our views concerning the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi. I will put those matters in the form of a motion to facilitate the Chairman's consideration of them.

On the final issue, we have of course been unanimous in our approach to the situation concerning Aung San Suu Kyi. The ASEAN meeting is on next week, so we will write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs to stress the importance of raising this matter because Burma will be represented there. We will also make the statement the Deputy proposes and we can look at finalising it afterwards.

Without being tedious, if we are issuing a press release about these matters, can it be issued on behalf of all those members of the committee who agree — I assume they all do — rather than having a statement from the Chair? That is no reflection on the Chairman, but in that way it would be on behalf of all the members of the committee.

We will do that. As regards Sri Lanka, we wrote to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, as we said we would, after the last meeting. However, we will also keep up the pressure on that matter, as the Deputy suggested.

The investigation is important. We cannot look at photographs of dead bodies without seeking an investigation.