Eleven countries voted against the resolution, supporting Lanka
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday adopted a strong resolution against Sri Lanka’s rights record, in a setback to Colombo, which described the move as “unwarranted and unjustified” interference in its internal affairs. The resolution titled ‘Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka‘ was adopted by the 47-member Council after 22 members voted in favour of it at the ongoing UNHRC session here. India and Japan were among 14 countries that abstained from voting. Eleven countries, including Pakistan, China and Russia, voted against the resolution, supporting Sri Lanka.
It is well known that supporters of erstwhile terrorist organisation LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) was behind this frequent UNHRC resolution move against Sri Lanka which eliminated the terrorist organisation and its chief Prabhakaran in May 2009. During Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as President in a war, Sri Lanka’s army wiped out the terrorist organisation LTTE, which was creating chaos in the island nation for three decades. LTTE was responsible for the killing of thousands including many Tamil and Sri Lankan leaders and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Now after the wipeout, many supporters of LTTE are operating from western countries in the garb of human rights organisations.
India, which abstained from voting, said its approach to the question of human rights in Sri Lanka is guided by two fundamental considerations. “One is our support to the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, dignity and peace.
After Mahinda Rajapaksa led Government’s 12-year war to eliminate the dreaded terrorist organisation LTTE, Sri Lanka came back to complete peace. It is a known fact many Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu raked up these old issues during election times and even lobbied for the release of the killers of Rajiv Gandhi from jail.
Sri Lanka described the draft resolution as “unwarranted, unjustified and in violations of the relevant articles of the United Nations’ Charter…” The resolution was adopted despite intense lobbying by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had dubbed the resolution as an act of political vendetta moved by the Western nations against Sri Lanka.
India, which abstained from voting, said its approach to the question of human rights in Sri Lanka is guided by two fundamental considerations. “One is our support to the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, dignity and peace. The other is in ensuring the unity, stability, and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. We have always believed that these two goals are mutually supportive and Sri Lanka’s progress is best assured by simultaneously addressing both objectives,” said Pawan Kumar Badhe, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India, Geneva.
He said India supported the call by the international community for the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, including through the early holding of elections for Provincial Councils and to ensure that all Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. At the same time, he said, India believes that the work of the Office of the Human Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should be in conformity with the mandate given by the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
“We would urge that the Government of Sri Lanka to carry forward the process of reconciliation, address the aspirations of the Tamil community and continue to engage constructively with the international community to ensure that the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its citizens are fully protected,” Badhe added.
Expressing unhappiness on India’s stand, ruling party BJP’s leader Subramanian Swamy reacted that Modi Government has an art of creating enemies (see the tweet below):
Modi’s govt should write a book a global best seller: “How to lose friends and encourage enemies” to counter Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence the people”. We have lost Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and encouraged China[Depsang] and Pakistan[Army joint exercise]
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) March 23, 2021
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