Anti-Sri Lanka resolution passed

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 21, 2013 17:43 hrs

India joined 24 other countries and voted in favour of the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka over alleged human rights violations that was passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Thursday but did not move amendments to the resolution.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government´s former alliance partner Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has slammed the Centre for not moving the amendment.

According to reports, 25 countries voted in favour of the resolution while 13 countries voted against it.

Eight countries abstained from voting.

Speaking at the UNHRC debate, Indian envoy Dilip Sinha urged Sri Lanka to take forward ´measures to ensure accountability´.

"India believes that the report of the LLRC (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. We note with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009," Sinha said.

"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," he said.

"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 envoy said.

He said India remained engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in Sri Lanka.

"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," he said.

The Sri Lankan representative reportedly critcised the resolution and said it was ´unacceptable´ to the Asian country.

Pakistan has reportedly voted against the resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC.

The entire issue assumed significance in the Indian political paradigm as the ruling UPA´s southern ally DMK on Tuesday pulled out of the government in New Delhi over its "soft stand" on the atrocities on Sri Lanka´s ethnic Tamils vis-a-vis the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC session at Geneva, dealing a body blow to the main constituent Congress party led coalition.

Meanwhile, the DMK has slammed the Centre for its stand on the Lankan Tamil issue.

DMK leader Tiruchi Siva told media: "India has also diluted the original resolution moved by the US. This does not meet the aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the people of Tamil Nadu as well as DMK."

The DMK wanted India to go for a strongly worded resolution against Sri Lanka for its atrocities and killings of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka that followed after the civil war in that country ended with the defeat of the LTTE.

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