3RD LEAD (Adds comparison, video, Tamil translation)

Watered-down resolution passes in UNHRC, stops short of international investigations

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 March 2012, 13:57 GMT]
The UN Rights Council on Thursday approved the LLRC-based US-tabled resolution urging Colombo to probe Human Rights violations domestically with assistance and advice from the UN rights body. The resolution stopped short of calling for an international investigation. In the 47-member UNHRC, 24 countries including India, voted for the resolution while 15 voted against. 8 countries abstained. Meanwhile, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported SL minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardene as saying that Colombo's relationship with close neighbor India and powerful USA would not be changed despite the resolution passed in UN Human Rights Council. "Whatever decisions taken by India and the U.S. with regard to the resolution, that will be limited to that issue only," the Sri Lankan minister said.

The resolution has been watered-down further before the voting on point 3, especially on the role of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and relevant special procedures mandate holders (click to enlarge the image):

Comparison of UNHRC texts


Meanwhile, India's External Affairs ministry issued a statement echoing Colombo's concerns that the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights lies with the States. “Consequently resolutions of this nature should fully respect the sovereign rights of states and contribute to Sri Lanka's own efforts in this regard,” the Indian statement said.

“While we subscribe to the broader message of this resolution and the objectives it promotes, we also underline that any assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights or visits of UN Special Procedures should be in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Sri Lankan Government,” the Indian statement said.

Observers in Tamil Nadu said that the Indian statement contradicted the demands put forward by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. J. Jayalalithaa, who had demanded India to declare SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa complicit in genocide and war-crimes and to call for economic sanctions against Sri Lanka till the country ensured equal status to Tamils.

The Indian statement further said that a “democratic country like Sri Lanka has to be provided time and space to achieve the objectives of reconciliation and peace. In this Council we have the responsibility to ensure that our conclusions do contribute to this objective rather than hinder it. ”

Further, the Indian statement expressed hope in Sri Lankan measures saying that “this Council has also been briefed by the Government of Sri Lanka in this session on the series of steps taken to implement the report and other measures. We welcome these steps. We are confident that implementation of the report will foster genuine reconciliation.”

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister G.L. Pieris, paramilitary leader and SL minister Douglas Devananda and Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe were present in Geneva to oppose the resolution.

China, Russia, Cuba, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Kuwait, Qatar, Congo, Mauritania and Ecuador are the countries that voted against the resolution while Malaysia, Senegal, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Angola abstained.

The countries that voted for the resolution are: United States, India, Norway, Switzerland, Benin, Cameroon, Libya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Romania.



Chronology:


External Links:
Xinhua: Sri Lanka says cordial ties not change with India and US despite resolution
NDTV: India explains its stand on Sri Lanka war crimes resolution
US Mission in Geneva: U.S. Introduces HRC Resolution Promoting Reconciliation and Accountablity in Sri Lanka

 

Latest 15 Reports
28.07.16 23:42  
Colombo continues to dilly-dally on processing political prisoners‘ cases
27.07.16 23:14  
UNP answerable for 1983 genocidal pogrom: Batticaloa UNP Organiser
26.07.16 23:38  
JUSU opposes police cases against Tamil students, SL military steps up surveillance
25.07.16 21:12   Photo
2009 genocide justice not going to come from UNP of 1983 pogrom: Shivajilingam
24.07.16 23:00   Photo
Saiva priests protest against Colombo constructing fishing jetty near Nakulesvaram temple
23.07.16 23:09  
Ethnic discrimination in student enrollment exposes reconciliation farce: Tamil academic
22.07.16 19:47   Photo
Tamil student leaders in Jaffna condemn SL Governor Cooray’s remarks in Colombo
21.07.16 01:26  
University engineers not learning lessons
21.07.16 00:21   Photo
Tamil politicians blame SL Military for enticing Sinhala students with triumphalist chauvinism
20.07.16 16:39   Photo
Tamil fishermen rise up against Colombo's move to permanently militarise Pa'l'li-munai in Mannaar
20.07.16 15:21   Photo
NPC demands CoI to go beyond criminal investigations on Jaffna University clash
19.07.16 23:15  
Sinhala-Tamil student clash in Jaffna exposes dangerous proportions of military occupation
18.07.16 18:01   Photo
‘SL President sanctioning 67-feet Buddha statue off Jaffna is act of aggression’
17.07.16 23:46  
Eastern University instructs assaulted Tamil student to attend investigations in Colombo
16.07.16 13:37   Photo
SL military-backed Sinhala students clash with Tamil students in Jaffna University
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35027