India will support Sri Lanka in probing war crimes

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New York
  • Updated: Sep 26, 2015 23:46 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at a meeting in New York on Friday. (PTI Photo)

India would support any mechanism that is acceptable to the Sri Lankan government to probe the allegations of war crimes and bring justice to the victims.

“As far as India is concerned, we naturally support the quest for justice. At the same time we are respectful of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. We are hopeful that a way will be found where both points and objectives can be met”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in New York.

Complementing Sirisena on the two elections in the country, Modi said this revealed the deep rooted democratic traditions and the faith that the people of Sri Lanka had in the democracy.

Issue of human rights and the situation pertaining to the ongoing discussions on UN Human Rights Council did come up during the meeting between Modi and Sirisena, he said.

New Delhi is also hopeful of consensus at the United Nations Human Rights Council next week as the draft resolution on the issue is co-sponsored by Sri Lank New Delhi sees as a “sea change”.

UN high commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called for the formation of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators.

Sri Lanka has long been insisting on a domestic mechanism to probe the matter. But a draft resolution co-sponsored by US and Lanka along with others raises the hope for possible solution to the issue. The human rights groups claim that the Lankan army killed 40,000 civilians in the final phases of the civil war with the LTTE that ended in 2009. The spokesperson said the Lankan government is actively engaged with the human rights council.

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