India votes against Sri Lanka at UNHRC

US dismisses India’s plans on amendment.

Bureau Report

WASHINGTON, DC: India was among 25 countries that voted against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, today. However, contrary to the government’s announcement yesterday, India did not move any amendments to the resolution sponsored by the US.

“I am not satisfied with India’s response and the US resolution. My demands were not considered,” said DMK chief M Karunanidhi. His party quit the government earlier this week for failing to take a strong stand against Sri Lanka over its alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils, reported NDTV.

The resolution adopted by a 25-13 vote at the UN’s top human rights body today urges Sri Lanka’s government “to initiate credible and independent actions” to ensure justice and accountability for alleged human rights violations and atrocities during the nearly 30-year civil war which ended in 2009, after government troops crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers, said the report.

The UN did not ask for an international inquiry. Nor did India seek that, largely because the government and opposition believe that would amount to interfering in another country’s internal affairs.

India’s envoy at the UN in Geneva, 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 urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability. We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the international community.”

Sources in Geneva say that last night, America shot down India’s plans for amendments to the UN resolution, arguing that it was too late to make changes and that any revisions would challenge the broad consensus reached among countries that were ready to vote against Sri Lanka, said NDTV.

“We stand by (the) domestic process that we have put into place that is credible and is transparent. What is important is to show results finally… we are quite confident that we’ll be able to if evidence (is) needed is unearthed… we will be able to show clear progress, ” said Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Special Envoy of the Sri Lankan President on Human Rights to NDTV.

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