UNHRC adopts resolution against Sri Lanka's rights record

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Geneva, Mar 23 (PTI) The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday adopted a resolution against Sri Lanka's rights record, in a setback to Colombo, which made determined efforts to garner international support ahead of the voting.

The resolution titled ‘Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ was adopted by the UNHRC after 22 members out of 47 voted in favour of it. Eleven members voted against the resolution.

India was among 14 countries which abstained from voting.

Sri Lanka described the draft resolution as 'unwarranted, unjustified and in violations of the relevant articles of the United Nations’ Charter…' India urged that the government of Sri Lanka to carry forward some process of reconciliation, address the aspirations of Tamil community and continue to engage constructively with the international community to ensure that the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its citizens are fully protected.

Sri Lanka was earlier defeated at three consecutive resolutions at the UN rights body when Gotabaya’s elder brother and incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was the country's president between 2012 and 2014.

The government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa had officially withdrawn from co-sponsoring the previous resolution undertaken by the previous government. It had called for an international investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both the government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the final phase of the near-three-decade-long civil war that ended in May 2009.

Sri Lanka was assured of support from China, Russia and several Muslim countries, including Pakistan.

Ahead of the voting on the resolution, President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda made phone calls to world Muslim leaders.

The resolution calls upon 'the (Sri Lankan) government to ensure prompt thorough and impartial investigation, if warranted, prosecution of all alleged crimes relating to human rights violations and serious violations of international human rights law'.

The resolution has been tabled by Core Group on Sri Lanka consisting of the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro, and North Macedonia at the 46th Session of the (UNHRC) in Geneva. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH