Sri Lankan decided once more not to back a UN General Assembly resolution demanding civilian protection and humanitarian access in Ukraine last week, in yet another vote at the global body.
During the emergency special session, the resolution entitled ‘Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine’ was passed with 140 votes in favour.
38 countries, including Sri Lanka decided to abstain. Just five countries voted against the resolution – Russia, Syria, North Korea, Eritrea and Belarus.
The vote marked the second time that Sri Lanka had abstained at the General Assembly on a resolution discussing Ukraine.
It comes despite the heads of 14 embassies to Sri Lanka urging Colombo to call “on Russia to end its hostilities immediately” and join in “vocal support for Ukraine and international law” last month.
As Russia invaded Ukraine, Sri Lanka’s foreign secretary declared his government would not “take sides” and instead claimed that “each can have their own reasons”. Days later, Sri Lanka sought a US$ 300 million Credit Line from Moscow, as prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met with a visiting Russian delegation.
Sri Lanka remains a tourist destination for many Russians, including oligarchs who have been known to dock their luxury yachts on the island.
Sri Lanka’s relationship with Russia was highlighted by protestors in London this week, with demonstrators calling Colombo ““Russia’s blood money partner”.
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