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Silence on Lanka resolution

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), March 4: India and Sri Lanka were non-committal on the third resolution tabled by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday night against rights’ violations in the island.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon after the Bimstec summit ended. Both agreed to “keep in touch” on issues that could emanate from the resolution sponsored by the US, UK, Northern Ireland, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius.

Mauritius — like India, it had kept away from the CHOGM meet in Colombo last year after both countries voted against Lanka at the UNHRC — has a large Tamil-speaking diaspora.

The latest resolution noted that Sri Lanka still had considerable work to do in the areas of justice, demilitarisation and the resumption of livelihoods. It called on the government to fulfil its stated commitments, including the devolution of political authority, integral to reconciliation and the upholding of human rights by all sections.

In their meeting, Singh and Rajapaksa agreed that given the resolution had “important implications, it was best to keep in touch”, said a foreign ministry official.

They said the document had reached the missions concerned late last night and could not be “evaluated” yet.

The 25-minute meeting discussed the issues of the Tamil and Lankan fishermen who are killed on both sides of the nautical divide, the need for reconciliation between the Tamils and Sri Lankans on the island and trade and economic ties.