Vasan Expresses Reservation on India Not Voting at UNHRC

Published: 30th March 2014 03:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2014 03:12 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Shipping Minister G K Vasan today joined his cabinet colleague P Chidambaram in expressing reservations over India not voting in favour of a resolution at UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged human rights violations, saying it has resulted in "agony and shock for majority of Congress leaders" and workers in Tamil Nadu.

The senior leader said though India had defended its decision to abstain from voting in favour of a US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, there "is no second opinion on (alleged) human rights violations." 

"Political leaders in Tamil Nadu including those from Congress have time and again expressed our views (that there were human rights violations). (India's abstention) has resulted in agony and shock for a majority of Congress leaders and workers in the state," he said.

Addressing reporters after releasing a set of campaign material including songs for the April 24 Lok Saha polls, he recalled India had voted in favour of such resolutions in the past but urged New Delhi to be "more determined and strict with Sri Lanka" vis-a-vis Tamils issues in the coming years.

"I have conveyed the feelings and concerns of the people of Tamil Nadu with the PMO and External Affairs Ministry," Vasan added.

New Delhi's decision to abstain from voting in United Nations Human Rights Council has drawn all-round flak from state political parties and outfits, with Finance Minister P Chidambaram himself admitting that India should have supported the US-backed move, albeit a 'watered down one.' 

India had stayed away from voting reasoning that the resolution imposed an "intrusive approach", besides undermining Sri Lanka's sovereignty.

Defending India's decision, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had said it was driven by welfare of Tamils in that country and that India's position on UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka has always been consistent with its view that the process of national reconciliation must be expedited in a manner that meets aspirations of the Tamil community for a "life of equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka".

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