India abstains from voting on UNHRC resolution against Lanka

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 27, 2014 13:43 hrs

Geneva: In a significant development, India for the first time today abstained from voting on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violation which was passed by 23 votes in favour as against 12 in opposition and 12 abstentions in the UN's Human Rights Council here.

In an explanation of vote given by Permanent Representative of India to the UN Offices here, Dilip Sinha, said this resolution at the UNHRC imposes an "intrusive approach" of international investigative mechanism which was counterproductive apart from being "inconsistent and impractical".

This is for the first time since 2009, India has abstained from the voting on the resolution - 'Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka'. All three times- 2009, 2012 and 2013 - India voted in favour of the resolutions.

He noted that unlike the resolutions in 2009, 2012 and 2013, this resolution asks the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to "investigate, assess and monitor" the human rights situation in Sri Lanka which was an "intrusive" approach that undermines national sovereignty.

"It has been India's firm belief that adopting an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty and institutions is counterproductive. Any significant departure from the core principle of constructive international dialogue and cooperation has the potential to undermine efforts of Human Rights Council for promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms," he said.

Moreover, any external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes for protection of human rights in a country, was not reflective of the constructive approach of dialogue and cooperation envisaged by earlier UN General Assembly resolutions, he added. 

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for India not supporting the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka seeking an international investigation into alleged war crimes by the island nation.

"I congratulate PM Manmohan Singh for ordering the Indian delegation in UNHCR not to support the dangerous US resolution seeking international probe into the so called human rights violations during 2009 anti-LTTE war by Sri lanka," Swamy said in a statement.

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