File-PTI Photo/ Mitesh Bhuvad
India Votes in Favour of US Resolution Against Sri Lanka
India along with 24 other countries today backed a US-sponsored resolution at UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against Sri Lanka asking it to conduct an "independent and credible" probe into allegations of human rights violations, an issue on which DMK pulled out of the ruling UPA alliance.

Thirteen member countries, including Pakistan voted against and eight member-states abstained from voting on the contentious resolution on 'Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka' which was adopted in the 47- nation strong UNHRC. Gabon, a member-country could not vote due to voting rights issue.

The watered-down resolution also saw India's bid for tougher written amendments, which were not taken into the final document with the sponsors of the resolution maintaining that the attempt was to make it "broadest-possible" and with tougher amendments, the purpose will be defeated.

The UN resolution noted "with concern that the national plan of action and the Commission's report do not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law."

It also expressed "concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief."

During the intervention on the resolution, India's Permanent Representative Dilip Sinha said, "We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives".

"We note with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009. Further, we call on Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and building upon it," Sinha said.

India had given seven written amendments in six paragraphs which also talked about other accountability measures by Sri Lanka, which, in an official reaction in Colombo, said it "understood domestic compulsions" of the Indian government.

Moving the vote, the US said it "acknowledges the progress made in some areas but a lot more needs to be done," and added that Sri Lanka must "take meaningful action and address the growing concern."

Criticising the resolution, Sri Lanka at the UNHRC said, "The resolution presented here today is clearly unacceptable to Sri Lanka."

"The government of Sri Lanka totally rejects the attempts by the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and proponents of this resolution," the Sri Lankan representative said.

He also said the resolution failed to recognise the progress made in the country in recent years, saying it is "replete with misrepresentations" on the situation in his country today.

India said it believes that the report of the Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and its findings and recommendation provides a window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards a lasting political settlement through genuine national reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all its citizens.

"India has always been of the view that the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka provided a unique opportunity to pursue a lasting political settlement, acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka, including the Tamils," Sinha said.

"We call for effective and timely implementation of all the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, reduction of 'high security zones', return of private lands by the military and withdrawal of the security forces from the civilian domain in the Northern Province," he said.

"We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives. We urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability. We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the international community," the Indian Permanent Representative said.

Opposing the move, Pakistan said the resolution "would fail to engage Sri Lanka constructively and will negatively impact the ongoing process of reconciliation".

The countries that voted in favour of the resolution included Benin, Libya, Sierra Leone Argentina, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and South Korea.

Those who voted against the US-sponsored resolution included Congo, Maldives, Thailand, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Ecuador among others.

Among those who abstained was Kenya, Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Botswana.

Full statement of India at UNHRC

Mr. President,

Allow me to make a few remarks on the resolution under discussion "Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka”.

India believes that the report of the LLRC and its findings and recommendation provides a window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards a lasting political settlement through genuine national reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all its citizens. We note with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009. Further, we call on Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and building upon it.

India has always been of the view that the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka provided a unique opportunity to pursue a lasting political settlement, acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka, including the Tamils. We call for effective and timely implementation of all the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, reduction of ‘high security zones’, return of private lands by the military and withdrawal of the security forces from the civilian domain in the Northern Province. We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives. We urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability. We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the international community.

As Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour, India remains engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in that country. Our efforts have contributed to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the rebuilding of infrastructure and development, especially in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.

While noting the commitment of Sri Lanka to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council in September 2013, it is our expectation that the people of the province can exercise their democratic rights freely and without delay as guaranteed to them by the Sri Lankan Constitution.

We note the invitation extended by Sri Lanka to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and urge her to undertake the visit at an early date. We hope that the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN Special Procedures continue their engagement in accordance with their mandate.

We encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to expedite the process of a broad-based, inclusive and meaningful reconciliation and political settlement that ensures that all communities live in dignity with equal rights and equal protection of the laws. As a neighbour with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, we cannot remain untouched by developments in that country and will continue to remain engaged in this matter.


(With PTI inputs)
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Digression

8/D-199
Jun 24, 2013
10:42 PM

 For all the drama that played out on this issue, does even remember where Sri Lanka is?

Did this drama help the Sri Lankan Tamils in any way?

Rakhal Chandra Ghosh, Tomball
7/D-148
Mar 22, 2013
07:30 PM

>> "You people have buried your heads deep into sands and have damaged India very badly >>and you will not rest till you destroy it completely" A.K.Ghai

When did i ever said anything against India? I am an Indian not less than you.

I do want re-settlement of kashmiri pandits, and feel their pain being refugess in their own country.

Let me repeat myself, you are mixing issues and don't club all things you have mentioned with plight of Lankan Tamil civilians who were killed in lakhs by SL govt./army. supporting them doesn't amount to going against whatever you listed. also please don't bring LTTE into picture, as nobody supporting them and moreover LTTE was symptom not cause, when SL were involved in 1983 black july massacre 

Come on Mr. Ghai, I am not at all against interest of India/Indians and can prove that its actually SL (proxy of china) who will be willing to inflict damage to India.

Problem with us indians is that we are divided among ourselves and not ready to empathically listen to each other.

Abhishek, Delhi
6/D-140
Mar 22, 2013
06:29 PM

You reaction is like of a rape victim, who scares to confront rapist as it may annoy rapist more to inflict more pain.''
Abhishek, Delhi

I agree I am a rape victim which majority of the Indians will accept being also have been raped by the Secular Govts due their wrong foreign policies .
Start counting China,anti West and pro Arabs, holding back wining Indian Army from capturing the whole of Kashmir ,releasing 93000 Pak POWs without converting the LOC into permanent Border, annoying SL ,pushing Maldive lap lap of China -Pak ., opening Locks of Babri, patronizing Bhinderwale ,not conducting free and honest Polls in Kashmir .Go on counting -----.allowing Bangladeshis to settle in India as Vote Banks .Assam is already heading for a Bangladeshi majority country in other 20 years -The Third Pakistan .Kashmir is already a cleansed State of Hindus .

You people have buried your heads deep into sands and have damaged India very badly and you will not rest till you destroy it completely .

Go on clubbing grave dangerous threats to the country as Apples ,Lemons, Oranges,Masombies, Bananas , Water melons ,Kadus, Lokies ,Baengans , Onions ,Dhania Pudiana ,Mirchi etc .

That is the limit of Secus' thinking !

a k ghai
mumbai, India
5/D-108
Mar 22, 2013
03:00 PM

 @AK Ghai

you suffer from delusion and are paranoid.

Kashmir & Lanka are like Orange and Apple as explained elsewhere by Ramki, but you guys paint everything in same color.

anyway Lanka is already strongly pro-China and India has already lost it as an ally, which you fail to see, and in fact Tamils are pro-India, very similar to Tibetans.

You reaction is like of a rape victim, who scares to confront rapist as it may annoy rapist more to inflict more pain.

Abhishek, Delhi
4/D-85
Mar 22, 2013
12:23 PM

Future generations of Indians will pay dearly for this Historical stupid mistake of the Congress Govt .

Now be ready to face UNO when SL,Pak and China brings a Resolution on Kashmir.

The actions of of all the Congress Govts in India are nothing else but inimical to the interests of India.

Start counting from Partition of India on wards .

a k ghai, mumbai
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