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'Engage' US on rights issue in UN: India to Lanka

PTI  New Delhi, March 06, 2013
First Published: 16:58 IST(6/3/2013) | Last Updated: 17:01 IST(6/3/2013)

Against the backdrop of demands by Tamil parties that India should vote against Sri Lanka at the UN on human rights, government on Wednesday remained evasive on the stand it will take even as it asked Sri Lanka to treat it as a humanitarian issue rather than "a matter of ego".

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With a US-sponsored resolution set to be moved on Lankan Tamils at the United Nations Human Rights Council, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said he has asked his Lankan counterpart GL Peiris to work with the Unitd States and report progress if any made on the issue to arrive at a draft which is "acceptable to everybody".

"Government will take a stand. As of now I have told my colleague foreign minister of Sri Lanka to engage the US. If you have moved forward (on human rights issue), you should bring that to the knowledge of the US to arrive at a consensual draft which is acceptable to everybody," Khurshid told reporters outside Parliament.

"It is a humanitarian issue. It is not an issue on which anybody should stand on ceremony or ego. If it is possible, speak to them directly and find a suitable and acceptable draft," he said.

His comments came against the backdrop of mounting demands by Tamil parties that India should take a tough stand against Sri Lanka and vote in favour of resolution to be moved against it.

The US is set to move the new resolution against Sri Lanka at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council for its alleged war crimes, asking the country to promote reconciliation and accountability.

The resolution will ask the government of Sri Lanka to follow through on its own commitments to its people, including implementing the constructive recommendations from the report by Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.


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