India votes against Sri Lanka, UNHRC adopts resolution

UNHRC began voting on resolution to press Sri Lankan government for a more thorough probe of accusations of mass murder of civilians by the Lankan army during the war against Tamil separatists in 2009.

Updated: Mar 21, 2013, 18:32 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Geneva: UNHRC on Thursday adopted the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka on human rights.

25 countries—including India—voted in favour of the US resolution, 13 against and 8 abstained from voting.

India at the UNHRC moved no amendments and said it would encourage Sri Lanka to expedite the process of broad-based, inclusive and meaningful reconciliation.

Earlier, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva voted on the resolution to press the Sri Lankan government for a more thorough probe of accusations of mass murder of civilians by the Lankan army during the war against Tamil separatists in 2009.

Indian representative at the UNHRC added, `We note Sri Lanka`s invitation to UN Human Rights Commissioner; we urge her to undertake it as early as possible.`

Previously, the US-sponsored draft resolution before the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in ( UNHRC) had called upon the Sri Lankan government to conduct an "independent and credible" investigation into allegations of human rights violations.

The draft resolution did not ceded to demands of human rights bodies for an independent international investigation, as being called by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in its report.

Welcoming the announcement by the Lankan government to hold elections to the Provincial Council in the Northern Province in September 2013, the draft resolution now calls upon Colombo to fulfil its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority.

A previous version of the draft resolution had expressed concern over the "failure" of the Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitment on devolution of power.

The draft resolution, currently under circulation, also welcomes and acknowledges the progress made by the Lankan government in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, resettling the majority of internally displaced persons.

At the same time it takes note of the considerable work that lie ahead in the areas of justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods, and stresses the importance of the full participation of local populations, including representatives of civil society and minorities, in these efforts.

The draft resolution now encourages (not urges as in the previous version) the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations made in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner, and also "calls upon" it to "conduct an independent and credible investigation" into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

It also reiterates its call upon Sri Lanka to "implement effectively the constructive recommendations" made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity and accountability, and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.

With Agency Inputs