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India backs anti-Lanka resolution

Geneva, March 21 (PTI): India along with 24 other countries today backed a US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council asking Sri Lanka to conduct an “independent and credible” probe into allegations of human rights violations, an issue that prompted the DMK pullout.

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

Gabon could not vote.

Resolutions such as this are not binding, but a scrutiny by the UNHRC puts pressure on the government to prosecute crimes committed against LTTE rebels.

The watered-down resolution also saw India’s bid for tougher written amendments, which were not incorporated in the final report. The resolution sponsors maintained that the attempt was to make it “broadest-possible” and with tougher amendments, the purpose would be defeated.

The resolution noted “with concern that the national plan of action and the commission’s report do not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law”.

India had given seven written amendments in six paragraphs which talked about other accountability steps to be taken by Lanka. In an official reaction, Colombo said it “understood the domestic compulsions” of India.

Moving the vote, the US said it “acknowledges the progress made in some areas but a lot more needs to be done”, and added Sri Lanka must “take meaningful action and address the growing concern”.