Progress made so far to meet aspirations of Tamils ‘remains inadequate’ – India

Indra Mani Pandey

While explaining India’s vote on the resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, Indra Mani Pandey, the country’s permanent representative in Geneva, said that the progress made so far by the Sri Lankan government to meet the aspirations of the Tamil minority “remains inadequate”.

“In finding a lasting and effective solution for peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, India has always been guided by the two fundamental principles of support to the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, dignity and peace and unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka,” Pandey said.

“While we have taken note of the commitments by the government of Sri Lanka on issues of implementation of the commitments in the spirit of the 13th Constitutional Amendment, meaningful devolution and the early conduct of provincial elections, we believe that the progress towards the same remains inadequate,” he said.

“Accordingly, we urge the government of Sri Lanka to work meaningfully towards early implementation of these commitments,” he added.

Pandey also noted that India has “substantively contributed” to the relief, rehabilitation, re-settlement and reconstruction process in Sri Lanka since 2009. Since January this year, India has “provided unprecedented assistance” to the people of Sri Lanka to face the challenges of the recent economic crisis, he said.

Achieving prosperity for all Sri Lankans and “realising the legitimate aspirations of Tamils of Sri Lanka for prosperity, dignity and peace are two sides of the same coin”, Pandey pointed out.

India on Thursday abstained on a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) promoting human rights in Sri Lanka but urged the government in Colombo to deliver on commitments towards the Tamil minority.