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Sri Lankans disappointed with India over UNHRC resolution

Reaction to India`s support for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka was negative in the island nation on Friday.

Colombo: Reaction to India`s support for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka was negative in the island nation on Friday, with the media calling it a `let down` and an ally in the government demanding a "drastic change" in the country`s foreign policy towards New Delhi.

Angry over India`s move, the Heritage Party, part of the ruling-alliance, has called for a drastic change in the Lankan foreign policy by giving cold shoulder to India and supporting Pakistan`s stand on Kashmir.

"We urge the government to build a foreign policy for Asian solidarity and brotherhood without India", a JHU statement said.

Commenting on the statement, JHU leader and Minister of Technology Research, Champika Ranawaka said, "We urge the government not to grant commercial or diplomatic favours because India has disregarded our sovereignty".

"We also wish to stress that Sri Lanka ought not continue trade and tourism ties with Tamil Nadu, which is hostile to us", Ranawaka said.

Ranawaka said Tamil Nadu politicians, MG Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi must be held responsible for rights violations in Sri Lanka due to their backing of the LTTE since the 1980s.

Sri Lanka must be thankful to Pakistan and Maldives for holding the SAARC spirit alive when India chose to violate it, the party said.

"India is holding on to Kashmir by force since 1947. There were reports of many mass graves for which India is responsible," Ranawaka said.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan media termed India`s backing for the resolution as a `let down` and noted that it was Islamic nations who had come to Colombo`s rescue.

All Sinhala paper leads highlighted India`s vote against Sri Lanka, besides driving home the point that it was Islamic nations who had come to Sri Lanka`s rescue.

"India joins USA to beat SL," was the banner lead in the English daily `Daily Mirror`, the next to which was a comment from the powerful defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, "India disappointed us".

`The Island` page one story "Gotabhaya deeply disappointed with India`s stand" supplemented its lead, "Resolution against SL passed ?India supports US".

"Would India address its accountability issues to the satisfaction of Western powers or the UN", Rajapaksa queries.

The Island`s hardhitting editorial, "Geneva: a triumph for hypocrisy" fired a broadside on the Tamil Nadu influence on New Delhi`s foreign policy, "now that India has voted for the US resolution, Karunanidhi is likely to rejoin the UPA government...But India is sure to realise its folly sooner or later; it is digging itself into a hole".

Its sister Sinhala daily `Divayina` editorial captioned
`Tamil Nadu we are familiar with` branded the South Indian state as the mother of Tamil separatism, its backing of the Lankan Tamil terror outfit.

India along with 24 other countries yesterday backed a US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka asking it to conduct an "independent and credible" probe into allegations of human rights violations.

Thirteen member countries, including Pakistan voted against and eight member-states abstained from voting on the contentious resolution on `Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka` which was adopted in the 47- nation strong UNHRC.

Among the 13 nations which opposed the US resolution in favour of Sri Lanka were the Islamic nations: Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar and UAE.


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