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Sri Lanka rejects US-sponsored UNHRC resolution

Thursday, 21 March 2013 - 8:23pm IST | Place: COLOMBO | Agency: PTI
Sri Lanka on Thursday rejected a US-sponsored resolution at UN Human Rights Council and said it understood the domestic political compulsions of India for voting against Colombo.

Sri Lanka on Thursday rejected a US-sponsored resolution at UN Human Rights Council and said it understood the domestic political compulsions of India for voting against Colombo.

The UN Human Rights Council today adopted the US-sponsored resolution on human rights violation in Sri Lanka with 25 countries, including India, voting in favour of the document in the 47-nation strong body.

While 13 countries, including Pakistan, voted against, eight member-states abstained from voting. Gabon, a member-country could not vote due to voting rights issue.

The Sri Lankan external affairs minister G L Peiris told the parliament here immediately after the resolution was adopted with Indian support that the US resolution was counterproductive as it had only highlighted the negatives whilst completely ignoring the progress made since the end to the war.

Reacting to the Indian support at the voting, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Sri Lanka understood the domestic political compulsions of India.

"We have no problems with our relationship with India as Minister Chidambaram said India does not consider Sri Lanka an enemy", Rambukwella said.

Criticising the resolution, Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva said, "The resolution presented here today is clearly unacceptable to Sri Lanka."

"The government of Sri Lanka totally rejects the attempts by the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and proponents of this resolution," the Sri Lankan representative said.

He also said the resolution failed to recognise the progress made in the country in recent years, saying it is "replete with misrepresentations" on the situation in his country today.

"There will be no sanctions, travel bans or international action against our leaders as a result. Sri Lanka will have time till 2016," Prathiba Mahanamahewa, a pro-government lawyer and the member of the local Human Rights Commission said.

He said with or without the resolution, Sri Lanka would anyway have implemented in full all recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) by 2016. So the resolution would be meaningless by then.




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