China on Thursday praised Sri Lanka on the progress its government had made in post-war reconciliation and opposed the US-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that called Colombo to address allegations of human rights violations.
Colombo has come under intense pressure from the international community to carry out an impartial probe into allegations of thousands of civilian deaths during the final stages of the war between government forces and the LTTE that ended in May, 2009.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa government looks at the resolution as an effort by the international community to interfere in Lankan affairs. He has repeatedly said the domestic mechanism of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was adequate to address reconciliation issues.
“We oppose using country specific human rights resolution to impose pressure (to pressurise Sri Lanka),” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Thursday.
Praising Sri Lanka, he said that in recent years Sri Lanka had made “great strides” in promoting human rights and “realising national reconciliation.”
China, he said, believes that dialogue and cooperation is the fundamental way out for human rights disputes.
“We believe the Sri Lanka government and (its) people are capable of handling their own affairs,” he said.
Both China and India were among the countries that stalled the calls for an international probe into the allegations. Now with India favouring the resolution, Colombo is likely to get diplomatically more snug with Beijing with whom it already has strong ties; China not only supplied arms and ammunition to the Lankan army during the war, only last month the visiting defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, profusely thanked Beijing for all its help.