India votes for resolution, Japan abstains

India voted in favor of the US resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while Japan, a close ally of Sri Lanka, abstained from voting.

Libya, which was also a close ally of Sri Lanka at one time under the Gaddafi regime, voted in support of the US resolution.

The other countries that backed the resolution are Argentina, Austria, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’ivoire, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala,  Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Moldova, Romania, Sierra Leone, Spain, Switzerland and USA.

The countries that voted against the resolution are  Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Thailand, Uganda, UAE and Venezuela.

The countries that abstained from voting are Japan, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Malaysia.

The Indian delegation at the Council said that it believes that the report of the LLRC and its findings and recommendation provides a window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards a lasting political settlement through genuine national reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all its citizens.

India noted with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009. Further, India called on Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and building upon it.

As Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour, India says it remains engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in that country. Our efforts have contributed to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the rebuilding of infrastructure and development, especially in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.

While noting the commitment of Sri Lanka to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council in September 2013, the Indian delegation said India expects the people of the province to be able to exercise their democratic rights freely and without delay as guaranteed to them by the Sri Lankan Constitution.

India also noted the invitation extended by Sri Lanka to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and urge her to undertake the visit at an early date. India hopes that the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN Special Procedures continue their engagement in accordance with their mandate. (Colombo Gazette)