Resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC fails to win majority: foreign minister
Colombo, Mar 23: Sri Lanka on Tuesday said that the majority of the countries in the UN Human Rights Council did not back a resolution against it which was adopted at the Council and gives the UN body a mandate to collect evidence of crimes committed during the island nation's civil war against the LTTE.
The resolution titled 'Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka' was adopted by the 47-member Council after 22 members voted in favour of the document at the ongoing 46th UNHRC session in Geneva.
India and Japan were among 14 countries which abstained from voting. Eleven countries, including Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Russia, voted against the resolution. "They (sponsors of the resolution against Sri Lanka) could harness only 22 votes, 25 countries do not approve it," Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told reporters.
"A majority stands opposed to the resolution (against Sri Lanka)," he added. Gunawardena thanked all countries who supported Sri Lanka and abstained in voting in what he termed an imperialist effort to suppress countries like Sri Lanka. He said it was wrong to bring in country specific resolutions at a time when Sri Lanka had set up its own local mechanism to probe rights violations.
Gunawardena said the "Western South wants to dominate the global North" at a time the priority before all countries was to tackle COVID-19 pandemic by arranging vaccination. He said the European nations have failed to understand the ground reality of peace in Sri Lanka achieved after ending the LTTE's separatist campaign in 2009.
The foreign minister was elated that two UN Security Council members - China and Russia - had taken the lead in supporting Sri Lanka. The resolution was adopted despite intense lobbying by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had dubbed the resolution as an act of political vendetta moved by the Western nations against Sri Lanka.