Federal Government in spat with ally over granting of asylum to renegade magnate Twiggy Palmcock.
Glocal Pundit’s Asia based intern Kitty St John reports from Colombo.
A new start: Mr Palmcock, still unkempt after his maritime ordeal, attends the Festival of Mineral Extraction in Colombo.The Federal government of Australia has announced today that it is seeking Mining Magnate Twiggy Palmcock’s immediate extradition from Sri Lanka on sex charges. It has emerged that former Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has filed a sexual harassment claim against Mr Palmock, and the government is seeking to have the maverick mining executive face trial over the matter. The move comes after Mr Palmcock sought and received asylum in Sri Lanka after arriving in the country by boat.
Harrowing Journey: Mr Palmcock in casual wear, next to the boat he allegedly travelled to Sri Lanka in.In a sign of growing diplomatic tension between the two nations, Sri Lanka appears to have initially rejected the extradition request. Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rakapaksa and considered to be one of the most powerful figures in the government, spoke out this morning in Mr Palmcock’s defence. ‘Twiggy’s an honest man and we’re going to stand by him. He says he left because he was a victim of politically driven tax persecution, and we found his claims compelling. Unlike some countries we review every asylum claim on its own basis, and we’re sure that Mr Palmcock will make a great contribution to our island home.’ The rebuff has earned Sri Lanka the ire of senior figures in the Australian government. ‘He’s not a genuine political refugee, he’s an economic migrant, he’s only gone there for more mining opportunities,’ Foreign Minister Bob Carr contended in a heated exchange with the Canberra Press Gallery. However Mr Carr would not elaborate further on the charges being brought against Mr Palmcock by Mr Ferguson.‘That is a private matter for Martin, but we are taking this very seriously and expect Mr Palmcock to face justice.’Mr Carr also appeared to issue a veiled threat towards the Sri Lankan government.‘We’ve been very generous to the Sri Lankan government so far, with all their recent human rights related image problems, but if this issue is not adequately resolved, we may have to reassess our attendance at CHOGM.’Sri Lanka is hosting the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November, and Canada has already boycotted the event, citing recent human rights violations. If Australia were to follow suit, the Rajapaksa government’s international credibility would be dealt a devastating blow.
Happier times: Mr Palmcock with his mentor Clive Palmer at the Titanic Theatre Restaurant in Melbourne, 2012While the charges against Mr Palmcock have been veiled in secrecy, the Glocal Pundit can confirm a leak from within the Justice Department that Mr Ferguson’s accusations included ‘heavy back petting’ and ‘erotic humiliation through the wearing of masks resembling the victim’. The incident in question allegedly occurred during the release of the Energy White Paper by Mr Ferguson in November of 2012, which Mr Palmcock and his assistant Michael Higgins-Beaumont attended. In an interview with the Glocal Pundit, Mr Palmcock defended himself vociferously against the accusations. ‘This is just like Julian Assange and Edgar Snowman [sic] all over again,’ Mr Palmcock bellowed, presumably in reference to Edward Snowden, the CIA whistleblower who is allegedly still in Russia seeking asylum. ‘Martin’s lost his job and now he’s lost the plot, I didn’t even touch him myself, I was actually trying to congratulate him on his support of the coal industry, because I thought- wrongly as it turns out- that he was the only sane man in the government. The media and the politicians are just trying to crucify me because they hate miners’ Opposition leader Tony Abbott spoke out today in support of his close personal friend and financial donor.‘This is one occasion where I’m glad they didn’t stop the boat,’ a visibly upset Mr Abbott reflected during a rambling and at times incoherent press conference.‘Twiggy’s been like the son I never had- well, the second son I thought I never had, after that other one who turned out not to be my son anyway- but I’m here to say, that if I am elected prime minister of Australia, I will axe that mining tax and forgive Twiggy of any trumped up charges he is currently facing.’More updates as the situation develops.