Geneva, March 21 (IANS) India voted for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which was adopted 25-13 here Thursday.
“India votes for Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in SriLanka @UNHRC,” said India’s external affairs spokesperson on Twitter.
Pakistan was among the 13 countries that voted against the resolution.
India’s envoy Dilip Sinha, in a strongly worded statement, said: “We note with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009. Further, we call on Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and building upon it.”
“We call for effective and timely implementation of all the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) report, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, reduction of ‘high security zones’, return of private lands by the military and withdrawal of the security forces from the civilian domain in the Northern Province,” he said.
“We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives. We urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability. We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the international community.”
“As Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour, India remains engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in that country. Our efforts have contributed to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the rebuilding of infrastructure and development, especially in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka,” Sinha’s statement read.
“We note the invitation extended by Sri Lanka to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and urge her to undertake the visit at an early date. We hope that the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN Special Procedures continue their engagement in accordance with their mandate.”
The envoy said, “As a neighbour with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, we cannot remain untouched by developments in that country and will continue to remain engaged in this matter.”
Sri Lanka has repeatedly denied killing Tamil civilians during its military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.