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India votes against Sri Lanka in UN resolution
Publication Date : 22-03-2013
Bowing to domestic political pressure, India yesterday voted in favour of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Sri Lanka for human rights violations.
However, India played it safe as it did not demand that Sri Lanka have an "international" inquiry into the alleged war crimes committed by the country's army towards the end of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
India’s stand has made no one happy, with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam saying that India has "diluted" the US-backed resolution and in the process let down the Tamils of Sri Lanka and the people of Tamil Nadu.
Human Rights Watch, in a press release, also expressed its unhappiness.
“The Council failed to call for an independent, international investigation into war crimes and other serious human rights abuses committed by the LTTE and government forces during the last phase of the war, a step called for by Sri Lankan groups, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka. An independent, international investigation is both essential and overdue to obtain justice for victims,” it said
Sri Lanka is hardly expected to be thrilled with India voting against it for the second time in a row. The Sri Lankan representative in Geneva rejected the resolution and called it “unacceptable to Sri Lanka”.
Twenty five countries, including India, voted in favour of the resolution in the 47-nation strong body. Thirteen countries, including Pakistan, voted against, and eight member-states abstained from voting.
“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,” India’s representative to the UNHRC said.