UN vote on Sri Lanka: Tough choice for India

(PTI) Ahead of a crucial vote on the US-backed resolution on alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil war, New Delhi is treading cautiously on the issue after its efforts to get the UN vote off table could not achieve much success.

Left with difficult choices, New Delhi has emphasized that the welfare and the well-being of the Tamil community in the Island Nation is of utmost importance, and that it hopes to achieve a "forward looking outcome" based on reconciliation and accountability rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who made these remarks in the Rajya Sabha yesterday on "The Situation in Sri Lanka", stopped short of giving a clear answer to whether India would support the resolution submitted by the United State to the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

What has further complicated situation for the government is the pressure build-up by Parliament members from Tamil Nadu-based parties AIDMK and DMK, asking the Center to support the US-backed resolution on the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

While the issue has disrupted the parliamentary proceedings in both Houses of the Parliament, Sri Lankan diplomats have also begun intense lobbying on the same asking the Indian government to take the right decision at the right time.

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam yesterday told reporters that the Tamil political parties are under influence of the pro-LTTE groups in the state sympathetic to the LTTE ideology.

“However, we are confident that India will take right decision at right time," the Sri Lankan High Commissioner was quoted as saying.

The Sri Lankan envoy also stated that Tamil Nadu political leaders have been misinformed and ill-informed about situation in Sri Lanka and invited them to visit Sri Lanka to get a firsthand look at the ground situation .

Commending India for being a responsible world power, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner said that India understands the importance of good relations with countries in the region and in the context of ongoing dialogue between India and Sri Lanka on all issues concerning rehabilitation and reconstruction of war affected areas in Sri Lanka.

These remarks were made in the backdrop of assertions made by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna that India needs to consider the implications of its actions carefully as any adverse move may have implications on the historically friendly relations with the neighbour.

The issue has left the Centre in a tight spot as it can’t afford to anger DMK, which is a major ally in the UPA coalition government, at the same time it can’t also ignore the alleged atrocities committed against the Tamilians residing in Sri Lanka by its security forces.

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