No comparison between Lanka vote and Afzal resolution

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New Delhi, March 21: India need not have to worry after voting against Sri Lanka at Geneva today. It does not amount to interference as it is not the Parliament that has passed the resolution. In the Afzal Guru case, since the Pakistani Parliament had passed a resolution, the Indian Parliament had to react and show unity in Parliament.

India has been victim of number of resolutions against it in international organisations, right from UN resolution on Kashmir, just after Independence. A resolution in any national parliament does amount to interference and India has not done any such thing. It has voted in an international fora along with European and American nations.

On the ground, it was mixed bag for Sri Lanka today as the resolution was passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) but without much feared harsh demands. It may have swallow bit of pride as India voted against it.

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The UNHRC at its meeting in Geneva adopted the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka on human rights with 25 countries-including India-voted in favour of the US resolution, 13 against and 8 abstained from voting.

Much to the relief of Lanka, India did not move any amendments and said it would encourage the island nation to expedite the process of broad-based, inclusive and meaningful reconciliation. India expressed concern and did not move any amendment as demanded by DMK and other groups in Tamil Nadu.

The resolution seeks to press the Sri Lankan government for a more thorough probe of accusations of mass murder of civilians by the Lankan army during the war against Tamil separatists in 2009.

Indian representative at the UNHRC added, 'We note Sri Lanka's invitation to UN Human Rights Commissioner; we urge her to undertake it as early as possible.'

"We encourage Sri Lanka to expedite the process of broad- based, inclusive and meaningful reconciliation," Dilip Sinha, the Indian envoy said during the debate.

"We note Sri Lanka's invitation to UN Human Rights Commissioner; we urge her to undertake it as early as possible," the envoy said.

Welcoming the announcement by the Lankan government to hold elections to the Provincial Council in the Northern Province in September 2013, the resolution now calls upon Colombo to fulfil its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority.

The resolution also welcomes and acknowledges the progress made by the Lankan government in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, resettling the majority of internally displaced persons.

At the same time it takes note of the considerable work that lie ahead in the areas of justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods, and stresses the importance of the full participation of local populations, including representatives of civil society and minorities, in these efforts.

The resolution was tabled by US ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, with co-sponsors including Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Britain.

The earlier draft had called upon the Sri Lankan government to conduct an "independent and credible" investigation into allegations of human rights violations. It also wanted to express concern over the "failure" of the Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitment on devolution of power.

OneIndia News

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