COLOMBO: India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council grabbed the headlines here Friday.
India Thursday voted for a US-backed resolution urging Sri Lanka to probe rights abuses in the war on the Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lanka expressed outrage after the resolution won majority support at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. The UNHRC adopted the resolution with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions.
The Daily News said: "Only one vote majority for resolution; 24 say 'yes', 23 decline to support".
Calling it "misconceived, unwarranted and ill-timed resolution", the daily said: "Those who live in glass houses are best advised to exercise caution before throwing stones."
"Geneva: Lanka fails to beat the odds," was the headline at infolanka.com
Another website news.lk said that voting at HRC was "determined by strategic alliances and domestic issues".
"It is a matter of great satisfaction to us that 15 countries voted with Sri Lanka, despite the intensity of pressure, in a variety of forms, exerted on them all," it said.
The headline in the Island daily said "Geneva: Lanka fails to beat the odds".
It mentioned that the resolution amended again at India's behest to include key operative words, "in consultation with and with the concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka".
The report noted that although "India succumbed to US pressure to vote for the resolution, key Asian countries, including those representing SAARC and two UN Security Council members voted against it".
"Lanka defiant despite losing vote," said the Sunday Leader.
It said that the Sri Lankan government remained defiant despite losing a key vote at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said that most countries which voted with Sri Lanka were acutely conscious of the danger of setting a precedent which enables ad hoc intervention by powerful countries in the internal affairs of other nations.
"The most distressing feature of this experience is the obvious reality that voting at the Human Rights Council is now determined not by the merits of a particular issue but by strategic alliances and domestic political issues in other countries which have nothing to do with the subject matter of a resolution or the best interests of the country to which the resolution relates.
"This is a cynical negation of the purposes for which the Human Rights Council was established," he said in a statement.