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India votes for diluted Lanka resolution

delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2013 07:46 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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India voted for the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC headquarters in Geneva on Thursday, but didn’t pursue its declared intent of making the resolution firmer.

Of the 25 countries that voted against Lanka, only India and South Korea were from Asia. Thirteen members, including Pakistan and China, voted against the resolution and eight abstained.

During the debate, India did not push its seven amendments for an “independent and credible” probe — acceptable to the international community — into alleged war crimes by Lankan forces on Tamils during the final days of the civil war in 2009.

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu-based DMK had pulled out of the government over India’s stand.

After the voting was over, DMK chief M Karunanidhi responded: "I am not satisfied with India's response and the US resolution. My demands were not considered."

Earlier around 11pm Wednesday, India's permanent representative Dilip Sinha rang up his US counterpart to inform him about the amendments. But the US representative got back a few hours later, saying any more amendments would spoil the "broad consensus".

But Sri Lankan envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe rejected the resolution as "highly intrusive". He asked: "Why this inordinate and disproportionate level of interest in a country that has successfully ended a 30-year conflict against terrorism and has demonstrated so much progress in a relatively short space of time?"

The resolution, however, only pressed the Sri Lankan government for a "credible and independent probe into the killings and human rights violations", although such resolutions were not binding. "We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation. We urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability," Sinha said in his intervention in Geneva.

This, in a way, summed up the Indian stand.

Read full text: UN resolution on Sri Lanka