10 Developments

India votes against Sri Lanka, but skips amendments to US-backed resolution at UNHRC

Geneva:  India has voted for the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva. 25 countries have voted for the US-backed resolution that addresses alleged war crimes by Lankan forces during the country's civil war with the Tamil Tigers. India has called for an "independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives." It did not, however, move any amendments.
Here are the 10 big developments in this story:
  1. India also urged Sri Lanka "to take forward measures to ensure accountability," and added, "We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the international community." (Read: India's full statement at the Geneva session of the UNHRC)
  2. The DMK reacted by saying, "The resolution has been diluted, the government has failed."
  3. Moving the vote, the US said it "acknowledges the progress made in some areas but a lot more needs to be done," and added that Sri Lanka must "take meaningful action and address the growing concern."
  4. Taking to the floor, Pakistan said that the resolution "would fail to engage Sri Lanka constructively and will negatively impact the ongoing process of reconciliation" and voted against the resolution.
  5. Sri Lanka said the "High Commissioner's report has no regard for the domestic reconciliation process which is ongoing in Sri Lanka," and that the international community "must appreciate that Sri Lanka is a country that has suffered much of externally sponsored terrorism."
  6. Which way India should vote and what amendments it should move has stirred a political storm here and pushed the UPA government to the precipice. The DMK withdrew from the government saying its stance on the resolution was not strong enough.
  7. The DMK wanted India to add strong language to the UN Human Rights Council resolution sponsored by the US to accuse Sri Lanka of "genocide" during its civil war and call for an international probe. It also wanted a parliamentary resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka.
  8. An all-party meeting on the whether India should move a parliamentary resolution yesterday ended inconclusively.
  9. In 2012, a US-sponsored resolution saw 24 countries out of the 47 member countries voting against Sri Lanka. Fifteen countries voted against the resolution and 8 abstained.
  10. The UN has estimated that some 40,000 people were killed in the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war, while rights groups put the death toll even higher. Sri Lanka denies that its forces killed civilians.

Story First Published: March 21, 2013 15:40 IST

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