India unlikely to support UN probe into Lanka war crimes

India unlikely to support UN probe into Lanka war crimes

India is unlikely to support an international probe into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) next week.

During a discussion on the island nation’s national report for the Universal Periodic Review at the UNHRC last Friday, New Delhi, however, expressed hope that the investigations into the allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives would be “independent and credible”.

India in March 2012 voted in favour of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. But before the voting on the US-sponsored resolution at the council headquarters in Geneva, New Delhi had worked with Washington to make it “non-intrusive and non-judgmental”. The resolution that the US is planning to table at the UNHRC now is a follow-up to the one passed last year.

Its preliminary draft included calls to Sri Lanka to accept UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s appeal for independent and credible international investigation into the war crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces personnel during the crackdown on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Unfettered access

It also asked Sri Lanka to provide unfettered access to UNHRC Special Rapporteurs to probe the alleged human rights violations and to accept assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

New Delhi is understood to have been in touch with Washington for modifying the draft. Sources, however, told Deccan Herald that India would argue that the resolution should fully respect the sovereign rights of Sri Lanka.

India might also underline that any assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights or visits of UN Special Procedures should be in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Sri Lankan government.

India on Friday put on record its appreciation for Sri Lanka’s acceptance of its suggestion to implement the recommendations of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report and to promote trilingual policy.

However, New Delhi also prodded Colombo to expedite reconciliation, reduction of high security zones and return of private land by the military. DH News Service

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