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Thursday, 22 March 2012

India joins West in censure of Sri Lanka for its human rights record


India joins West in censure of Sri Lanka for its human rights record

Geneva, Mar 22 (PTI): Sri Lanka on Thursday faced a major embarrassment as the UN's top human rights body adopted a resolution censuring it for alleged war crimes in the conflict with Tamil Separatists as India joined the West in backing the US-sponsored move.
In the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, 24 countries, including India, voted for the resolution and 15 against it, while eight nations abstained.
India, which normally does not vote on nation-specific resolutions, made a last-minute departure in the current instance after overwhelming pressure from parties in Tamil Nadu, especially the DMK which had even considered pulling out its ministers from the government at the Centre, to vote against Sri Lanka.
India's neighbours like China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, voted against the motion. Maldives said the resolution was not necessary and Sri Lanka should be given time to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The vote came after a spirited opposition from Sri Lankan Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who said no one from outside could dictate to his country about human rights.
The resolution asked the government to explain how it would address the alleged violations of international humanitarian laws and how it would implement the recommendations of the LLRC.
It also encouraged the UN Human Rights Office to offer Sri Lanka advice and assistance and the government to accept it.