India instrumental in toning down resolution against SL | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India instrumental in toning down resolution against SL

delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2012 21:21 IST
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India worked behind the scenes in toning down the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council and succeeded in pushing two crucial amendments to the draft to make it "non-intrusive".

Sources in New Delhi said India persuaded the US, sponsor of the resolution, to remove certain references which were "intrusive" in the functioning of a sovereign country like Sri Lanka. New Delhi also insisted that the resolution contributed to the political reconciliation process in the island nation.

At India's instance, a paragraph that said 'recalling Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 on institution building of the Human Rights Council' was added to the resolution, the sources said.

The other change was in reference to the wording of the last para of the resolution which speaks of providing advice and technical assistance on implementing the steps suggested in the resolution.

The amendment makes it clear that the advice and technical assistance would be provided "in consultation with and with the concurrence of" the government of Sri Lanka that made the resolution "non-intrusive", they said.

"We were very particular that we cannot accept (original resolution). We told the sponsor that the assistance should be given with the consultation and concurrence of the government. We also made sure that it is restricted only to assistance and not a monitoring mechanism," the sources said.

The sources also noted that India played a major role in the 2009 May resolution in UNHRC, which was also accepted by Sri Lanka.

"We had got into a situation that there should a political settlement i.e. the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) process. We had always considered that was the solution. We thought this (resolution) was contributing to political reconciliation process. This has determined our support," they said.

The sources also said the resolution was "non-judgemental" one and India is of the opinion that Sri Lanka should be given time and space to achieve political reconciliation.

To questions on whether India's vote in favour of the resolution would affect its relations with Sri Lanka, they said the ties between the two countries were thousands of years old.

"We have a very close engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka...they understand the spirit under which we approached the issue. We don't see any contradictions we have made. We have been seeking constructive reconciliation process," the sources said.

They also said Sri Lanka should bring about genuine political reconciliation in a "credible" and "time-bound" manner.

The sources also made it clear that it would continue to take up the issues bilaterally with Sri Lanka.

Explaining its position on its vote for the resolution, India said it believes the primary responsibility for promotion and protection of human rights lies with the states.

India voted in favour of the resolution along with 23 other countries while 15 countries voted against it.