When India voted against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, it took a calculated risk aimed at prodding the country towards moving faster on resolving Tamil issues, an official said.
It also worked hard to ensure that the issue of the country's “sovereignty” remained intact, going by a stipulation of the resolution that any move would be made in “consultation or concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka”, he added.
The Sri Lankan issue has a huge bearing on India's domestic politics, especially in matters pertaining to Tamil Nadu and the Congress-led UPA government. Many in the country also think that Sri Lanka hasn’t done enough to address the Tamil ethnic issue, despite assurances made at various forums.
With 24 votes for, 15 against, and eight abstentions, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on promoting “reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka”.
The resolution also expresses concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka does not adequately address "serious allegations" of international law violations. Neighbouring states such as China, Bangladesh and Maldives, besides Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, were among the countries that voted against the resolution.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR was in line with its stand on the issue, and it only wanted to ensure that minority Tamils in the country received justice.
Stating that India does not intend to “infringe” on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, Singh said, “One has to weigh the pros and cons. We do not want to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, but concerns should be expressed so Tamil people can get justice and lead a life of dignity.”