India asks Sri Lanka to engage with US on UNHRC resolution

Friday, 1 March 2013 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

India has advised Sri Lanka to talk to the US on the resolution that the latter is likely to propose at the United Nations Human Rights Council next month on the alleged war crimes by the island nation’s armed forces during the military campaign against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.

 “We would encourage the United States and Sri Lanka to directly engage on the draft resolution and aim for a mutually acceptable outcome,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.


Dr. Subramanian Swamy calls on President
President of the Janata Party of India, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last morning (28). Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Ministry Secretary Karunathillake Amunugama were also present at the occasion – Pic by Sudath Silva

He made the statement even as All India Anna Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MP V. Maitreyan criticised the government for bailing out Sri Lanka at the UNHRC last year by helping the latter to tone down a resolution on the same issue.

India, in March 2012, voted in favour of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC but before the voting on the US-sponsored resolution at the council headquarters in Geneva, New Delhi had worked with Washington to make it “non-intrusive and non-judgmental,” ostensibly to soothe the ruffled feathers in Colombo.

 “India bailed out Sri Lanka by diluting the impact of the resolution by softening its tone and tenor and contents,” Maitreyan alleged after the External Affairs Minister made the statement in the Rajya Sabha on a Calling Attention Motion by the AIADMK MP.

In the backdrop of the recent release of a set of pictures purportedly showing the final moments of the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year-old son Balachandran just before being allegedly shot dead by Sri Lankan armed forces personnel in May 2009, the Tamil MPs on Wednesday cut across the party lines to demand that New Delhi take a strong stand against Colombo at the UNHRC.

Even the MPs of the ruling Congress’ ally Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (DMK) joined the clamour against the government, alleging that India has been pursuing a soft policy on Sri Lanka and has not been doing enough to end the plight of Tamils in the island nation.