India on Thursday voted in favour of a US-sponsored UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution censuring Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations during the war against LTTE. But New Delhi also succeeded in persuading the US for two crucial amendments to the draft to make it "non-intrusive".
India was earlier reluctant to vote on a nation-specific resolution but changed its stance under pressure from Tamil Nadu political parties, particularly DMK which had threatened to pull out its ministers from the UPA government at the Centre.
India did not participate in the debate but voted with countries like Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and the US.
With 24 votes for, 15 against and 8 abstentions, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution which noted with concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka does not adequately address "serious allegations" of violations of international law.
India's neighbours, including China, Bangladesh and Maldives, and Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia were among the countries that voted against the resolution. Photos: LTTE's end days | Photos: Sri Lanka protests UN resolution | Editorial: We're missing the big picture
In an HT online poll, the readers were asked whether they were in favour of or against India's decision to vote against Sri Lanka at the UN. Till 10.30pm, over 1500 responses were received.
The result of the survey showed that the opinions of the readers were split between 'yes' and 'no'. Fifty five per cent of the respondents supported India's decision to vote against Sri Lanka at the UN, while 39% of the readers did not back India's decision. Six per cent of respondents wanted India to abstain from voting.After the voting at the UN, Sri Lanka foreign minister GL Peiris blamed strategic alliances and domestic political issues, an apparent reference to politics in Tamil Nadu, for India backing the UNHRC resolution to censure Colombo.
Sri Lankan special envoy on Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, rejected the resolution, saying it was "mis-conceived, unwarranted and ill-timed" embodying several "harmful" elements that violate important principles having adverse ramifications to his country and to others.
Sri Lankan army (SLA) has repeatedly been accused of crimes against common people during the war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and even after it.
Recently, SLA came under severe attack for allegedly mercilessly killing slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son.
With 24 countries in favour of the resolution, UN has asked Colombo to present as expeditiously as possible a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to address the alleged violations of international law.
Responding to a question on India voting in favour of the US-sponsored resolution later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR was in line with its stand and wanted to ensure that concern was expressed to enable minority Tamils in that country to get justice.
Singh also said India did not want to "infringe" on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
"One has to weigh pros and cons. What we did was in line with our stand on Sri Lanka. We do not want to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka but concerns should be expressed so that Tamil people can get justice and lead a life of dignity," he told reporters.
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(With inputs from agencies)