India votes for US resolution on Sri Lanka

Indo Asian News Service

Geneva, March 22 (IANS) India and 23 other countries voted in favour of a US resolution here Thursday urging Sri Lanka to probe alleged human rights abuses during the final phase of the war against Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka expressed outrage after the resolution won majority support at the UN Human Rights Council meeting, but quickly added that its "friendly ties" with India and the US would not change.

The UNHRC adopted the resolution with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions, BBC reported.

The motion called on Colombo to address alleged abuses of international humanitarian law.

The Sri Lankan military crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, ending 26 years of civil war.

But the final phase of that conflict saw largescale civilian casualties, the figures ranging from a few hundred to thousands.

The resolution tabled by the US asks Colombo to explain how it will address the alleged violations of humanitarian law.

It also seeks to know how Sri Lanka will implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry into the war and encourages the UN human rights office to offer it advice and assistance.

China and Russia supported Sri Lanka and opposed the resolution.

In Colombo, Acting Media Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena said India's internal political situation had pushed New Delhi to vote in favour of the US-sponsored resolution, Xinhua reported.

"Sri Lanka's ties with India will not be affected over the decision it has taken," Abeywardena said.

"India's ruling party has lost some of the big states in elections and all the parties in Tamil Nadu have gathered together to pressure the central government to support the resolution," Abeywardena added.