India backs US-sponsored resolution against Lanka at UNHRC
Geneva: India along with 24 other countries on Thursday 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.