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India Will Back A Consensus Resolution

There is a “sea change” in the approach of the new Sri Lankan government over the alleged war crimes during the last phase of the civil war with the LTTE and India is hopeful that there will be a consensus resolution on the issue at the UN Human Rights Council, the Press Trust of India reported.

The Indian position was explained by MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup while briefing reporters on the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The issue of human rights and the situation pertaining to the ongoing discussions on UN Human Rights Council came up during a meeting between the two leaders.

“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 these points and objectives can be met,” said Swarup.

The Sri Lankan Government is “engaging” with the UN Human Rights Council and there is a “sea change” in the approach of the new government in this island nation, he said. When asked about India’s position on the hybrid court including foreign judges to probe the alleged war crimes, Swarup said New Delhi would have to look at the final outcome of the draft resolution as he hoped that it would be a consensus and acceptable to the Sri Lankan Government.

“Our expectation at this point is that hopefully it will be a consensus resolution which everyone will be able to pass unanimously and it is something which will be acceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka also,” he said. 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 been insisting on a domestic mechanism to probe the matter.

Rights groups claim that the Sri Lankan military killed 40,000 civilians in the final months of the three decade-long brutal ethnic conflict with the LTTE that ended in 2009. Swarup said the Lankan government is actively engaging with the Human Rights Council now. “It is a sea change from the position that was there earlier. Our position is very clear. We stand for justice and at the same time we are respectful of the Sri Lankan sovereignty issues to the extent the Sri Lankan Government is comfortable with the formulation that marries the two. We will be comfortable with that,” he said.

A US-initiated draft resolution on Sri Lanka’s alleged human rights violations has called for a domestic judicial mechanism that includes foreign judges to probe the war crimes during the conflict with the LTTE. The draft resolution, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, the US the UK, Macedonia and Montenegro was submitted to the UNHRC in Geneva this week.

Complimenting the Sri Lankan President 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 democracy. There was a discussion on the reconciliation process and President said he expected this to move forward, Swarup said. Issues of developmental project in Sri Lanka came up, he said, adding that India has made a number of new commitments on railway, infrastructure power and housing project.

“We expect 46,000 houses to be completed by early next year,” Swarup added, according to the Press Trust of India.

Meanwhile the Government says it is committed to implement the resolution submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Friday said that the resolution signifies a path-breaking success for Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the current 30th Session.

He said that for the last several years, Sri Lanka was repeatedly humiliated by the international community with Resolutions that censured the conduct of our country. Successive resolutions since 2012, adopted by divisive and acrimonious voting, resulted in repeated defeats and isolation for Sri Lanka.

“Although the Government at the time claimed victory through a Resolution in the Human Rights Council in May 2009, that was hardly a victory for the people of Sri Lanka, as that effort failed to achieve consensus in the Council. The Resolution, which was adopted by a vote, antagonised a large number of members of the Council, paving the way for the series of Resolutions that followed in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that was an affront to the people of my country and brought disrepute to Sri Lanka. It was undoubtedly a period of embarrassmentand dishonour for the peace-loving, democratically oriented people of Sri Lanka who, for decades, had received acclaim among the United Nations community, as consensus builders, moderates and friends with all,” he said.

The Minister said that after almost three decades of conflict ended in 2009, the peace dividend that the people so richly deserved became illusive with each passing day, as impunity reigned, freedom was suppressed and democratic governance was curtailed.

“The desire of the people of our country to live in peace and harmony was denied to them. The opportunity to unite communities through reconciliation and build a nation that celebrates the rich diversity of our country was squandered away through action that sought to polarise communities even further and isolate the country internationally. Allegations of violations of human rights remained unaddressed and kept on mounting in the years following 2009. The nation was faced with international strictures and an investigation. The people of our country were deprived of the opportunity to gain the best knowledge and expertise from the international community, obtain access to markets, attract investment and benefit from economic advancement. Today, as a result of the determined efforts of the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe since January 2015, Sri Lanka has once again succeeded in joining the international community as a responsible, confident and peaceful nation that respects the universal values of freedom, equality and justice,” he said.

The Minister said that Sri Lanka has succeeded in winning over the once divided Human Rights Council to work with the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to achieve meaningful reconciliation through truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence to ensure peace and prosperity for all our people.

“The victory that we have achieved today for the people of our nation, in line with the 100 Day Work Programme and Manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena, reflects the desire of the people of Sri Lanka expressed twice at elections this year, for justice, rule of law, good governance and accountability in all aspects of life. This includes credible investigations into alleged violations of human rights so that non-recurrence is guaranteed and the people of Sri Lanka can steadfastly progress towards reconciliation, peace and stability with the support and assistance of the international community and all stakeholders living in Sri Lanka and overseas,” he said.

The Minister said that the Resolution is in fact an endorsement by the international community that a credible accountability process will safeguard the reputation and honour of those who conducted themselves in an appropriate manner with professionalism.

 

1 Comment for “India Will Back A Consensus Resolution”

  1. salam

    The knowledge that 2500 sinhala buddhist have an animal heritage and that we are very near the beasts might help to check our behaving like beasts.

    Equality of opportunity is utopia even in the west but we are civilized than the 2 of you (kill your own people as if you own them via democracy votes) because we are `reasonable` that makes us human not the beast.

    blessed are the baldie beasts who sit like fools all day for they are the happiest people on earth.

    Stupid Hindian has no tentacles` please go away bloodsucking chameleons.` you had your share of $1.5 billion swap against the wishes of RBI

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