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India explains abstention at UNHRC on Sri Lankan resolution vote

Pawan Badhe - Permanent Mission of India to United Nations

India said that it would continue to urge the Sri Lankan government to “address the aspirations of the Tamil community,” even as it abstained from voting in favour of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on accountability for mass atrocities committed on the island earlier today.

Prior to the vote both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had sought the exact opposite outcomes on the passage of the resolution and both parties had publicly expressed that they “hoped” and were “assured” of that India would vote in their favour, which brings India abstention as a surprise.

India’s statement just before voting took place however, claimed their approach to human rights in Sri Lanka was guided by two fundamental considerations.

“One is our support to the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, dignity and peace," it said. "The other is in ensuring the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. We have always believed that these two goals are mutually supportive and Sri Lanka’s progress is best assured by simultaneously addressing both objectives.”

The Indian representative went on to state his government “supports the call by the international community for the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, including through the early holding of elections for Provincial Councils and to ensure that all Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution”.

See the full text of the Indian statement below.

Read more here


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