Peiris To Meet Khurshid Over UNHRC Resolution
Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris will be meeting external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday with the agenda to take forward the talks to resolve the fishermen issue and to also discuss the forthcoming UNHRC session where US is expected to again bring a resolution.
Peiris arrived in Delhi on Tuesday for a three-day visit, during which he will meet Khurshid on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan minister is also scheduled to meet with ambassadors of foreign countries accredited to Sri Lanka but based in Delhi - with a view to brief them on measures taken by Colombo to promote reconciliation ahead of the UNHRC session in March.
Official sources said that both the fishermen and UNHRC would be on top of the agenda. The US has already indicated that it will be bringing a resolution before the UNHRC, which will be supported by European Union and UK. This will be the third consecutive year that a resolution would be brought against Sri Lanka on war crimes and devolution of power after the end of civil war. Sri Lanka, which has already sent out ministers to various countries to pre-empt a critical resolution, has been touting the holding of the Northern Province elections and census of war dead as examples of its sincerity in finding a lasting solution. Colombo has also set up a presidential commission for missing persons still unaccounted for in the war.
But, critics have pointed out that Northern Province continues to be heavily militarised, with land and police powers still in central hand - in violation of the 13th amendment. With the northern provincial council passing a resolution asking for international probe on war crimes, there will be an added momentum to ask for an escalation in the level of investigation this March in Geneva.
Sources here point out that India’s position will be based on the wording of the text, as well as the domestic situation at that time with General Elections expected to be held in April. The two ministers will also be reviewing the results of the meeting of the fishermen’s association in Chennai on Monday.