Sri Lanka hopes to engage India before UN rights vote

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Monday said it hopes to engage with India ahead of next month's vote at the UN Human Rights Council where the US will move a fresh resolution pressing Colombo to probe its military for crimes during the last phase of its deadly civil war against Tamil rebels.

The government spokesman and minister of media Keheliya Rambukwella said that Sri Lanka would tell India about the island's achievements in the post-conflict phase.

"We will not be complaining but would tell them about our successes in rehabilitation, resettlement and progress in rebuilding infrastructure

Sri Lanka minister of media Keheliya Rambukwella. AFP

Sri Lanka minister of media Keheliya Rambukwella. AFP

", Rambukwella said.

India had voted in favour of the anti-Sri Lanka resolution last year moved by the US government, urging Colombo to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of the conflict with the LTTE.

The US has already given notice of the second resolution to be moved this year.

The Indian government has come under intense pressure from domestic political elements in Tamil Nadu to follow suit this year.

Last year's resolution was binding on Sri Lanka to show progress in the implementation of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Sri Lanka which accused the pro-LTTE lobby in the West of influencing Western governments to act against Colombo, was taken aback by the Indian vote against it last year.

Sri Lankan forces had crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes.

The 22nd session of the UNHRC got underway in Geneva on Monday.

The US-moved Sri Lanka resolution would come up at the end of the session on March 22, officials said.

Sri Lankan delegation leader and minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is to address the sessions on Wednesday.


Updated Date: Feb 25, 2013 22:27 PM

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