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India changes tack, treads cautiously on UN resolution

In the past, India has never supported country-specific resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. But this time, it is changing tack and is in wait- and- weigh-the-options mode as the UN resolution seeking to put Sri Lanka in a spot for alleged war crimes is likely to come up for
vote by March 23.

In 2009, a similar resolution against Sri Lanka failed and India played a pivotal role in it and had got other countries to pitch for a different document.

While Sri Lanka is going on a diplomatic overdrive to ensure the 47-member UNHCR doesn’t let it pass, the UPA government is under fire from political parties in Tamil Nadu, which want India to back the resolution.

Any support to the move from India will upset the Rajapakse government and can be detrimental to the fragile reconciliation process that is underway in the island nation. It will also turn India’s traditional position — of not supporting a country-specific UN resolution — on its head.

“In the UN process, any resolution is like a cat. It has many lives,” official sources reasoned.

India wouldn’t be averse to international community helping the cause of the political process in Sri Lanka, but question remains on how much and how far it is willing to go. India welcomed the report of Sri Lankan Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) and hoped the recommendations would contribute to the process of reconciliation.

Consistent with the LLRC recommendations, India has pitched for an independent mechanism to probe allegations of human rights violations.

But, New Delhi feels any international mechanism for the same can set a wrong precedence. The US would like to get a co-sponsor for the resolution, preferably from a developing nation. “Wait and watch. It’s still 10 days to go”, official sources added.

Jayanth Jacob,
Hindustan Times

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