US President Barack Obama Monday criticised India for shying away from condemning rights abuses in repressive states, saying those states with global aspirations should not remain silent and ignore "gross violations" in other countries.
"If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often shied away from these issues," Mr. Obama said.
“Speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not interfering in the affairs of other countries. It is not violating the rights of sovereign nations, it is staying true to our democratic principles."
Mr. Obama’s comments, made during a key address to the Indian parliament, in which he also made clear the United States’ support for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He then went on to say:
"Now, let me suggest that with increased power comes increased responsibility. The United Nations exists to fulfill its founding ideals of preserving peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights. These are the responsibilities of all nations, but especially those that seek to lead in the 21st century."
"And so we look forward to working with India — and other nations that aspire to Security Council membership — to ensure that the Security Council is effective; that resolutions are implemented, that sanctions are enforced; that we strengthen the international norms which recognize the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all individuals."
"... When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed, as they have been in Burma (Myanmar), then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent."
"Faced with such gross violations of human rights, it is the responsibility of the international community, especially leaders like the United States and India, to condemn it," he said.