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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 9.02 GMT
India should stand by Sri Lanka - Daily Pioneer

 

Will it be in India’s national interest to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘No’, the Daily Pioneer said in an editorial today (March 20).

If India actually votes for the resolution which is entirely uncalled for and whose passage would be tantamount to both questioning the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and interfering in its internal affairs, it would mark a sharp departure from our long-standing policy of not voting for country-specific resolutions that accuse specific Governments of ‘human rights violations, it added.

India’s voting in favour of the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council would also amount to India wilfully rubbing a friendly country in its neighborhood the wrong way and earning the displeasure, if not anger, of its people who are otherwise favourably disposed towards us, the newspaper said.

Full text of the editorial follows:

Nothing can be more tragic than to watch the Prime Minister of a nation of more than a billion people meekly surrender to a minuscule few who brazenly indulge in political blackmail. Mr Manmohan Singh, while replying to the debate on the President’s address in Parliament on Monday, said “coalition compulsion” had forced his Government to consider voting in favour of the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council. If India actually votes for the resolution which is entirely uncalled for and whose passage would be tantamount to both questioning the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and interfering in its internal affairs, it would mark a sharp departure from our long-standing policy of not voting for country-specific resolutions that accuse specific Governments of ‘human rights violations’. It would also amount to India wilfully rubbing a friendly country in its neighbourhood the wrong way and earning the displeasure, if not anger, of its people who are otherwise favourably disposed towards us. Already posters and banners are up in Sri Lanka denouncing America and meddlesome countries of Europe for trying to arm-twist the Rajapaksa Government into submission. The question which we, the people of this country, should ask ourselves, and our Government, is whether we would like India to be added to the list of countries Sri Lankans despise. From that follows the second question: Will it be in India’s national interest to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘No’.

There are three reasons why India must not support the resolution against Sri Lanka. First, it is a veiled attempt by the US and its European allies to become the arbiters of Sri Lanka’s future. The West was stunned by the Sri Lankan military’s remarkable victory in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world. That feat was achieved without the assistance of those who claim to lead the global war on terror. India should not be a party to this sly attempt to browbeat Sri Lanka. Second, the UPA erred by adopting a hands-off policy when the battle against the LTTE was raging. Had New Delhi been more pro-active and played a decisive role, Colombo would not have had to turn to Beijing for assistance. That lapse has led to enhanced relations between China and Sri Lanka, and diminished India’s stature. Third, by voting in favour of the resolution, India will be paving the way for similar resolutions against itself. In 1994 it required the combined effort of the then Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao, his Minister for External Affairs, Dinesh Singh, and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee (who was Leader of the Opposition) to scuttle a Pakistan-sponsored, OIC-backed resolution against India, charging it with ‘human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir’, at the UN. Nothing prevents busybodies in the EU to move similar resolutions against India, accusing it of violating the rights of Maoists and other assorted terrorists. What will be India’s stand if that were to happen? Whom would it turn to for help? The DMK is desperately trying to claw its way back into relevance and has seized upon bogus sentiments to demonstrate its political clout. Neither the DMK nor those sentiments should be pandered to.


 



 

 
 
   
   
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