Mar 18, Colombo: India has made an immense contribution to in Sri Lanka's north and it is in India's interest as much as Sri Lanka's to support to achieve stability and not to polarize Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has said.
Highlighting that India has made massive contributions to the development of the war-affected North by building houses laying railway tracks and helping with agricultural inputs and the creation of livelihoods, the Minister said India has a moral responsibility to support Sri Lanka.
"It is in her interest, no less than in ours, to ensure that there is a stable, long-lasting settlement," the Minister has pointed out in an interview with an Indian English daily Hindustan Times.
"New Delhi must adopt methods that are conducive towards achieving that. To do anything that would polarize an already complex situation would be a mistake," he has said.
Speaking of the US resolution, the Minister has said that not everyone is pursuing Sri Lanka and pointed out that during his recent visit to Japan, the Japanese officials were amazed by the progress Sri Lanka has made in a short period of time since the war ended in May 2009.
He has said the Japanese officials were amazed that thousands of Tamils including 595 LTTE child soldiers have been reintegrated, demining is almost complete and schools are running.
"In how many countries of former conflict -many of whom are supporting the US resolution - have you seen such speedy work?" he has asked.
Responding to the queries on Channel 4 video on alleged Sri Lankan Army war crimes, the Minister has said that Sri Lanka has never refused to examine any new material brought up, even though the past experience with Channel 4 showed that these videos were fakes.
The Minister questioned the timing of Channel 4 material always surfacing when Sri Lanka goes before an international for a like the UNHRC.
"If you have incriminating material, why not put it all up? Why in installments?" he has questioned.
The Minister has expressed displeasure that the UNHRC chief Navanetham Pillay has been biased against Sri Lanka calling for an international investigation and wrongly characterizing the findings of a panel set up by the UN Secretary-General as a UN report to strengthen her case.
"The UN is supposed to be an impartial body," the Minister has said adding that European Union delegations travelled to northern Sri Lanka and came back impressed.
He has revealed that although many members of the delegation have told Sri Lanka that they do not agree with the UNHRC, they have been forced by Brussels to vote against Sri Lanka.
He noted that the UNHRC chief still has not taken Sri Lanka's invitation to visit the country and see for herself the progress made after the war.
"She laid some conditions -which we fulfilled -and promised to come. We are still waiting," he has said.
He has acknowledged that there were atrocities on both sides but finding evidence against the defeated terror outfit LTTE is not easy because during their control of the region they have destroyed most of the evidence, of their brutality.
However, it cannot be a reason for countries critical of Sri Lanka to lay disproportionate emphasis only on the one side, and show no concern for the other.
Much of the existing international law on conflict focuses only on those between states, not on asymmetrical conflicts against non-state actors, he has complained.