India to support war crimes resolution against Sri Lanka

http://www.smh.com.au/world/india-to-support-war-crimes-resolution-against-sri-lanka-20120320-1vgb4.html

India plans to vote in favour of a US-backed resolution asking Sri Lanka to investigate if the country’s armed forces committed crimes during its 26-year civil war, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told lawmakers yesterday.

“We hope that the government of Sri Lanka recognises the critical importance of this issue and acts decisively” Mr Singh said in parliament. “We don’t yet have the final text of the resolution. However, we are inclined to vote in favour of the resolution.”

The US is planning to bring a resolution before the Human Rights Council as early as this week urging Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes and human-rights abuses. A United Nations report released in April 2011 said the military and rebel Tamil Tigers may have committed serious violations of international law in the final stages of the conflict, causing as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.

India to support war crimes resolution against Sri Lanka New Delhi
March 20, 2012 – 1:47AM
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Buddhist monks protest in Colombo against the US-led move to censure Sri Lanka at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva over its alleged war crimes while crushing Tamil rebels in 2009. Photo: AFP

India plans to vote in favour of a US-backed resolution asking Sri Lanka to investigate if the country’s armed forces committed crimes during its 26-year civil war, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told lawmakers yesterday.

“We hope that the government of Sri Lanka recognises the critical importance of this issue and acts decisively” Mr Singh said in parliament. “We don’t yet have the final text of the resolution. However, we are inclined to vote in favour of the resolution.”

The US is planning to bring a resolution before the Human Rights Council as early as this week urging Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes and human-rights abuses. A United Nations report released in April 2011 said the military and rebel Tamil Tigers may have committed serious violations of international law in the final stages of the conflict, causing as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.

Advertisement: Story continues below Mr Singh’s ruling coalition is under pressure from political parties in southern Tamil Nadu state, including its second- largest ally, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, to support the resolution. Tamil Nadu shares cultural and religious links with Sri Lankan Tamils.

“The resolution should cover India’s objectives to achieve a future for Lankan Tamils based on equality, dignity, justice and self-respect,” Singh said.

The Sri Lankan army defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009, killing its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and ending the group’s fight for a separate homeland in the country’s north and east.

India has said resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka have been the “highest and most immediate priority” of the government since the end of the conflict. India is assisting its southern neighbour in building houses, hospitals, and rail lines and supplying buses for relief work.

Mr Singh said that the government had emphasised there should be a “genuine process” of reconciliation to address the grievances of the ethnic Tamils.

In Tamil Nadu, on March 22, state-wide hunger protests led by DMK party chief M. Karunanidhi would be observed, the Press Trust of India reported, citing him. The DMK has convened a meeting of senior leaders today to discuss the resolution.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/india-to-support-war-crimes-resolution-against-sri-lanka-20120320-1vgb4.html#ixzz1pesRIBWs

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