The US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the 19 session of the UNHRC in Geneva was adopted short while ago with 24 countries voting for & 15 against 8 abstained
India voted in favour of a resolution backed by the United States at the UNHCR sessions conducted today. The UN's top human rights body has passed a resolution calling on Sri Lanka to properly investigate alleged war crimes during its 26-year conflict with the Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lanka and its allies on the 47-member council had fiercely resisted the resolution saying it unduly interfered in the country's domestic affairs and could hinder its reconciliation process.
But backers, such as the United States, the European Union and India, say credible probes into alleged crimes committed by both sides are an important step for justice and equality in post-conflict Sri Lanka.
China however backed Sri Lanka and opposed the proposed UN resolution.
Bangladesh has voted against the resolution on Sri Lanka, saying that there is a disturbing selectivity when deciding which countries to bring resolutions against. It however called on the government to implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. Mexico has supported the resolution.
China has said that the resolution against Sri Lanka are contrary to the interests of the UN charter and called on all members of the council to vote against it. The Chinese delegate said that the resolution was a blatant violation of Sri Lanka’s rights as a sovereign nation, and amounted to interference in the domestic affairs of the country. Speaking immediately afterwards, the Maldives also voted against the resolution saying that while it supported accountability as a concept, it felt Sri Lanka had not been given enough time to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Committee. Indonesia has also voted against the resolution.
Thailand praises Sri Lankan efforts at reconciliation and votes against the resolution. The Philippines and Nigeria have also voted against the resolution. Philippines said that they did not support resolutions targeted at certain countries, particularly those just coming out of a post war situation.
Russia says that outside intervention in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka would be counter productive and says they take the view that the country situations may be considered in the council only with the agreement of the country concerned. Ecuador also voted against the resolution.
Uruguay has voted for the resolution and asked the Sri Lankan government to also look into the issues of forced disappearances and the harassment and abduction of Human Rights defenders in the country.
Kirghystan has abstained on the basis that the Sri Lankan government has not had enough time to implement the resolutions of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission.
Cuba has said that the draft resolution against Sri Lanka smacked of hypocrisy and double standards, particularly by countries who were sponsoring the initiative. In a strongly worded speech, the Cuban delegate said that if the US and EU were asking for an investigation in Sri Lanka, why they did not demand a similar investigation into civilian deaths in the NATO sponsored campaign in Libya, and the US war in Iraq. They said they were a friend of Sri Lanka and could not support the resolution.
The US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka is currently up for debate in the United Nations Human Rights Convention in Sri Lanka. Speaking at the council debate, Sri Lanka said it was vehemently opposed to the resolution in its current form. The Sri lankan delegate said, “The resolution runs counter to the international law principle that local remedies should be exhausted”. He added that the resolution by UNHRC would allow the LTTE to resume under the protection of the Council.
Pix by Tamil CNN