To avoid hurting Tamil sentiment ahead of elections, the government has refused to commit Sri Lanka any support against a US-sponsored UN resolution accusing its military of committing war crimes in the final assault on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris met his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid in New Delhi Wednesday and sought the Manmohan Singh government’s support to ensure that the final resolution does not call for any international probe into alleged human rights violations, officials at the External Affairs Ministry said.
He rushed to Delhi after the US on Tuesday said it would sponsor a resolution on Sri Lanka during the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council this March.
With elections in mind, Khurshid did not make any commitment to Peiris, officials said. Khurshid advised Peiris to engage with Washington directly and told him that Delhi would take a stand on the proposed resolution at an appropriate time, the officials said. Congress has yet to form an alliance in Tamil Nadu for the Lok Sabha polls.
A decision in favour of Colombo at this time could hurt the prospects of forming one as the popular sentiment in the state is hostile towards Sri Lanka because of the alleged atrocities committed on the Tamils during the assault on the LTTE.
At the same time, New Delhi also wants to keep Colombo as an ally amid the Chinese making inroads into Sri Lanka. DMK had last year severed its ties with the Congress, accusing the government of being soft on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. (The Economic Times)