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Updated on: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 02:33 PM IST

India abstains from voting on UNHRC resolution against Lanka

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Geneva: India for the first time today abstained from voting on an “intrusive” US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC which adopted it by 23 votes in favour and sought an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in the last stages of conflict with the LTTE in 2009.

India along with 11 other countries abstained from voting while 12 other countries including Russia, China and Pakistan opposed the resolution.

In an explanation of vote by Permanent Representative of India to the UN Offices here, Dilip Sinha, said this resolution at the UN Human Rights Council imposes an “intrusive approach” of international investigative mechanism which was counterproductive apart from being “inconsistent and impractical”.

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This is for the first time since 2009, India has abstained from the voting on the resolution – ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’. All three times- 2009, 2012 and 2013 – India voted in favour of the resolutions.

He noted that unlike the resolutions in 2009, 2012 and 2013, this resolution asks the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to “investigate, assess and monitor” the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the last phases of the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which was an “intrusive” approach that undermines national sovereignty.

“It has been India’s firm belief that adopting an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty and institutions is counterproductive. Any significant departure from the core principle of constructive international dialogue and cooperation has the potential to undermine efforts of Human Rights Council for promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,”  Sinha said.

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Moreover, any external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes for protection of human rights in a country, was not reflective of the constructive approach of dialogue and cooperation envisaged by earlier UN General Assembly resolutions, he added.

“As the closest neighbour with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, we cannot remain untouched by developments in that country. Since the end of the armed conflict, India remains engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in Sri Lanka,” the explanation of India’s vote said.

“We have extended substantial assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts for resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, de-mining, education, connectivity, livelihood restoration, economic revival, etc.

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This has contributed towards return of a modicum of normalcy to the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka,” it said.

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Published on: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 08:24 PM IST
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