UNHRC Resolution: The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva accepted a draft resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, but India did not participate in the vote.
India, while not participating in the vote, insisted that it would work with Sri Lanka and the international community to achieve objectives relating to the legitimate aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils and the prosperity of all Sri Lankans. At the 51st session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva, a draft resolution on ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ was adopted.
In the 47-member council, 20 countries voted in favor of the draft resolution, while seven countries, including China and Pakistan, voted against it, and India, Japan, Nepal and Qatar abstained from it. Among those who voted in favor of the resolution are the United Kingdom, the United States, Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico and the Netherlands, among other countries.
While accepting this in a statement, Ambassador Indramani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and other international organizations, said that India has ensured the implementation of commitments, meaningful devolution and early provincial elections in the spirit of the 13th Constitutional Amendment of Sri Lanka. The government has taken cognizance of the commitments made on the issues of getting it done, although ‘we believe that the progress made in this direction is insufficient.’ India urged Sri Lanka to do meaningful work towards early implementation of these commitments.
What did India say?
Permanent Representative Ambassador Indramani Pandey said, “Achieving prosperity for all Sri Lankans and realizing the legitimate aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils for prosperity, dignity and peace are two sides of the same coin.” He said that as a neighbor, India has contributed significantly to the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in Sri Lanka after 2009. It also pointed out that in its quest for an effective and lasting solution to peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, India has always adhered to two core principles which include supporting the aspirations of Tamils for equality, justice, dignity and peace and the unity, territorial integrity and integrity of Sri Lanka. The advocacy of sovereignty is included.
India’s statement during the adoption of the resolution on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” at the 51st Session of Human Rights Council in Geneva. @UN_HRC @AmbVMKwatra @SanjayVermalFS @IndiainSL @MEAIndia #HRC51 pic.twitter.com/bbapps0wN2
— India at UN, Geneva (@IndiaUNGeneva) October 6, 2022
The important feature of this resolution is that it has sought an inquiry into the current economic crisis of Sri Lanka and the prosecution of those responsible. Resolutions to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka were also brought in in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The Sri Lankan government has opposed them and called them a violation of their sovereignty. According to Sri Lankan government figures, more than 20,000 people are missing due to various conflicts, including a three-decade-long war with Sri Lankan Tamils in the north and east. At least one lakh people were killed in this war.
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