New Delhi/Geneva : On Wednesday, the Congress, which heads the United Progressive Alliance government, had said in its election manifesto that it would push for a “credible, objective, time-bound” probe into allegations of human rights violations and war crimes by Colombo.
But on Thursday, in a move that will please Colombo, India joined 11 other countries that abstained from voting on a UN Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva calling for a probe into alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka.
The resolution was adopted with 23 voting in its favour and 12 against.
China and Pakistan voted against the resolution, which was presented by the US and backed by Britain among other countries.
Sri Lanka “categorically” rejected the resolution that called for a probe into war crimes allegedly committed in the final stages of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Rejecting the resolution, India said it ignores the efforts at reconciliation being done by Sri Lanka in the predominantly Tamil north, including holding of elections.
Contrary to what was widely expected to be a repeat of earlier moves of backing the UN resolution, India on Thursday said it “cannot go along with the resolution and will abstain on the resolution under consideration”.
This was for the first time since 2009 that India abstained from voting on the resolution. India had in 2009, 2012 and 2013 voted in favour of the resolutions.
India said it was “concerned that the resolution has the potential to hinder efforts of the country rather than contribute constructively to its efforts, and hence inadvertently complicate the situation”.
Giving reasons for India’s different response, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said that unlike earlier resolutions, the current resolution “imposes an international investigative mechanism”, which is an “intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty”.
He said an external probe “is not a constructive approach”.
“In our view, adopting an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty and institutions is counter-productive.”
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