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India abstains from voting on UN resolution on Sri Lanka


March 28, 2014 - Geneva

  • India abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva against Sri Lanka. The voting is to seek an international investigation into the alleged war crimes during final phase of civil war in Sri Lanka which ended in 2009.
  • Political parties in Tamil Nadu were upset at India's decision to abstain from voting.
  • Finance Minister and politician from Tamil Nadu P Chidambaram told reporters at Chennai that personally he felt that India should have supported the resolution.
  • Chidambaram pointed out that there is no unanimity among political parties in Tamil Nadu on resolution against Sri Lanka.
  • The resolution was adopted with 23 voting in favour of international investigation and 12 against it. India is one among the 12 countries to abstain from voting.
  • Many political parties in Tamil Nadu including AIADMK, DMK and Tamizhaga Desiya Koottani have expressed their outrage against India opting out of voting.
  • This is the first time since 2009 that India has abstained from voting on the resolution. India had voted in favour of similar resolutions in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

Sri Lankan Response

  • Sri Lanka has flatly rejected the UN resolution that sought international investigation into the human rights violations during the last phase of civil war in the country.
  • Sri Lanka alleged that the resolution which was led by United States was a conspiracy to seek a regime change in the country.
  • External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. GL Peirls said that interested parties would like to topple President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government in Sri Lanka.
  • The countries that voted in favour of the resolution were under pressure since it was backed by United States which put pressure for economic reasons.
  • Peirls praised India for its decision not to vote.

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