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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

US-sponsored resolution on Lanka has two major changes

PTI  New Delhi, March 19, 2013
First Published: 20:54 IST(19/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:55 IST(19/3/2013)

The US-sponsored resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka over which DMK has decided to pull out of the UPA because it wanted it to be tougher has been watered down, in an obvious deference to sovereignty of the Lankan government.

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The final resolution has two major changes.

The first being that the demand for an international independent probe into the allegations of rights violation in Sri Lanka was no longer part of the main text of the resolution. It is part of its preamble.

The second deals with no "unfretted access" for a special rapporteur.

According to sources, the final call on whether India will vote for or against the resolution on March 21 in Geneva will be only taken by the political masters but these two clauses were in accordance with country's views on sovereign rights of any nation.

The changes, however, will not go down well with DMK, which stepped up pressure that India should push for amendments to the resolution in United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) so that it calls for an independent international probe into "genocide" of Sri Lankan Tamils.

The resolution also does not mention the 'genocide' word.

Meanwhile, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Dilip Sinha, who has been called by the foreign secretary, will hold consultations with senior officials to discuss the final text and apprise them of "ground realities" in Geneva.

In a briefing on Monday, official spokesperson in the ministry of external affairs said, Sinha will be here "so, that we can have consultations in the matter as it is an important matter for us and he will be able to brief senior officials of the government on what are the ground realities in Geneva and latest position on that".

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