Lanka war crimes: UNHRC to debate on US motion

A debate on the motion urging Colombo to probe human rights violations will take place on Thursday.

Published: 22nd March 2012 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:40 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The UN Human Rights Council will on Thursday debate on a US resolution urging Colombo to probe alleged violations during its war with Tamil separatists.

The Indian government is facing immense pressure from the DMK and the AIADMK to vote for the resolution. Sources at the Ministry of External Affairs said India will be voting in favour of the proposal.

However, Sri Lanka on Tuesday requested India to 'reconsider' its support for a US-backed resolution, censoring Colombo at the UN Human Rights Council, a day after New Delhi said it is "inclined to" vote in favour of it.

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris called up his Indian counterpart SM Krishna over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that India might vote in support of the US-backed resolution.

Krishna said that the Indian government could not ignore Tamils sentiment voiced in Parliament.

The Prime Minister had on Monday said that the government intended to vote in favour of the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but the final draft of the resolution was awaited.

Speaking on the issue of alleged war crimes and Tamils in Sri Lanka, Manmohan Singh had said, "India has stressed on reconciliation and healing the wounds of the Lanka Tamils. We have asked Lanka govt to stress on meaningful devolution of power."

International rights groups have alleged that up to 40,000 civilians died in the final months of Sri Lanka's military campaign to crush the Tamil Tigers, who waged a bloody decades-long campaign for a separate homeland for minority Tamils.

According to the UN committee that probed it, there were extensive human right violations.

The US resolution urges Sri Lanka to ensure 'justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation' and says Colombo's own probe, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, did not adequately address concerns.

However, Sri Lanka had dismissed the resolution calling it 'ill-timed, ill-conceived and borne out of ignorance'.


Suhasini Haidar


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