India has assured it will protect the territorial sovereignty of Sri Lanka during the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, the Foreign Ministry said today (17).
Foreign Secretary Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage said India has vowed to upkeep Sri Lanka’s territorial sovereignty as the country’s closest neighbour.
He further said Sri Lanka greatly appreciates India’s position, ‘being the superpower they are’.
Addressing a live online discussion held today, Prof. Colombage said as Sri Lanka is geo-strategically placed, all countries are vying for its benefit.
He pointed out that many countries had negotiated providing support for Sri Lanka based on trade and export ties.
However, Sri Lanka has made it clear that it will not bow down to such western pressure in this regard.
The Foreign Secretary said Sri Lanka is surrounded by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal in its region, and requires their support against the UN resolution.
He said Pakistan has voiced its support via various ongoing bilateral programmes, but India continues to maintain a neutral approach at present.
Prof. Colombage said he believes India is remaining neutral currently due to various reasons, including the elections in Tamil Nadu in April.
Stating that the President had reached out to India first requesting support at the UNHRC, Prof. Colombage said Sri Lanka requires the support of its regional countries, to establish its stance on the matter.
He said India has however, vouched to protect the territorial sovereignty of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, and Sri Lanka is awaiting further explanation in this regard.
Despite many countries watching India’s move, Prof. Colombage said Sri Lanka expects India to extend its support at this crucial juncture.
He also pointed out that among the 40 countries that have co-sponsored the resolution against Sri Lanka, only 12 countries are vested with voting power. (Colombo Gazette)