India yet to take call on Geneva vote on Sri Lanka

India yet to take call on Geneva vote on Sri Lanka

70New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) India is yet to take a final call on whether to vote for a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva on March 28 as the government is waiting for the final shape of the resolution, official sources said.

However, a government source indicated that India is likely to vote in favour of the US-backed resolution this time too. If it does, it would be the third time the UPA government would be doing so.

The UN resolution seeks an international probe into human rights violations during the war against the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

The upcoming general election in India and the Tamil sentiment regarding the alleged war crimes would be a major factor in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s decision to vote for the UNHRC motion.

India during the past two years voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in the wake of strident protests by the Tamil Nadu parties against the Mahinda Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Rajapaksa in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in early March on the sidelines of a regional meet when the issue of the UN vote featured in their talks. But Singh reportedly did not disclose which way India was likely to vote.

Manmohan Singh in November last year called off his visit to Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), despite a personal invitation extended by Rajapaksa. The UPA government deputed External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to head the Indian delegation.

The Sri Lankan government has said it will oppose the resolution even if it is passed by a majority vote and that it will continue with domestic mechanisms to address human rights concerns.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has recommended an external investigation into the alleged war crimes and Britain has said it will vote for an international, independent probe into the alleged war crimes.

Sri Lanka’s sectarian war, which began in the early 1980s, was triggered by the LTTE demand for a separate state for minority Tamils in the north. The war ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE and the death of more than 40,000 people.

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