Sri Lanka warns India of repercussions over Kashmir

Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena

Sri Lanka on Saturday warned India of possible repercussions over Held Kashmir after it voted for a US resolution in Geneva on rights abuses during its war on the Tamil Tigers.

Government spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said some countries or groups might use the vote on Sri Lanka as precedence to bring a similar resolution on India over the Kashmir dispute, Xinhua reported.

Sri Lanka was, however, mindful that India acted as a result of immense pressure from Tamil political parties, Abeywardena, the acting media minister, told a public meeting.

Much to the disappointment of Colombo, India was among 24 countries which voted in support of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday.

Fifteen countries voted against and eight abstained.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned that countries which voted for the resolution would have to worry about consequences of terrorism.

The Sri Lankan President commended the 15 countries which voted against ‘the anti-Lanka resolution for their support’ and the eight nations which abstained in the 47-member UNHRC. Countries which voted against Sri Lanka would have to be concerned about consequences, he was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, in an apparent move to reach out to Sri Lanka and cool down passions against India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday wrote to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, telling him that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an ‘element of balance’ in the US-sponsored resolution at UNHCR.  Singh also stressed the need for achieving a lasting political settlement to address the grievances of minority Tamils in Lanka.

Singh wrote to Rajapaksa, “Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution.” Though India voted in favour of the resolution, it worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it ‘non-intrusive’, the letter claimed. “It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect,” Singh said. (TheNation)