India votes for anti-Lanka resolution at UNHRC

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 21, 2013 11:11 hrs

New Delhi/Geneva: The US resolution against Sri Lanka over alleged human rights violations during the final stages of the war that vanquished the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has been passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva today.

While 25 countries, including India voted in favour of the resolution, 13 countries voted against it while eight countries abstained from voting.

While India could not move amendments, Indian envoy Dilip Sinha, during the debate, urged Lanka to undertake measures and ensure accountability.

"We urge Sri Lanka to take up investigation that is credible and acceptable to the international community," Sinha was quoted as saying by media reports. "Political settlement should be acceptable to all including Tamils," he added.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan envoy said the US resolution was 'clearly unacceptable'. "The resolution casts aspersion on Sri Lanka's reconciliation process," the envoy said.

"Sri Lanka's constructive engagement has been ignored," he added. He claimed that Sri Lanka was not consulted over the resolution.

Switzerland welcomed the US resolution against Sri Lanka.

While, Pakistan voted against the resolution, saying, "A country specific resolution is not an example of constructive engagement."

The resolution was tabled by US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, with co-sponsors including Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Britain.

The Sri Lankan government rejected the final draft of the US resolution and sought a vote.

India will firmly present views in Geneva: Khurshid

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that India would try to present its views firmly in Geneva.

The government failed to arrive at a consensus on the issue at an all-party meeting held Wednesday.

"One of the suggestions which had consensus was that the country's foreign policy should be kept secure. And in Geneva, we should try to present our views firmly," Khurshid told reporters outside parliament.

The government Wednesday said it will move amendments to the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC by sending a "resolute message" and denied that New Delhi diluted the US-sponsored motion denouncing Sri Lanka over alleged rights abuses.

The vote at the 47-member UNHRC intends to pull up Sri Lanka for military excesses .

Last year, India had voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

Protests outside US embassy in Lanka

Elsewhere in Colombo, a demonstration was held outside the US Embassy in Sri Lanka against the US sponsored move.

The demonstrators raised objections to the resolution and demanded that the US government stay out of Sri Lankan affairs, reported Xinhua.

More from Sify: