July 12, New Delhi: The Indian government has reiterated that it is against sending an United Nations investigation team to Sri Lanka to probe human rights violations allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan security forces during the decades-long war.
The previous UPA government of India abstained from voting on the UN resolution adopted in March this year at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva mandating the investigation to be led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
India voted against the specific paragraph of the resolution, Operative Paragraph 10 that called for sending an international team to Sri Lanka.
During the discussions held between India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart Minister G. L. Peiris yesterday in New Delhi, the Indian Minister has told Prof. Peiris that there is no change in India's position on the issue.
Speaking at a media briefing following the meeting, India's External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin recalled that India abstained on the Resolution and also voted against the specific paragraph that wanted to send a team to the island.
"Our views are pretty clear on this. This is not about a country specific issue; this is a matter of principle that we have always held," the Spokesperson told the reporters.
Akbaruddin said India has articulated why it feels so in terms of India's approach to human rights and explained in great length.
"We feel that international bodies need to address human rights through a cooperative framework, not a punitive approach," he said reiterating India's stance.
'There is no change in our position on what we stand for in terms of our approach to human rights issues in various countries and specifically relating to Sri Lanka, as has been articulated previously at the appropriate forum in March," the Spokesperson reiterated.
He said the Sri Lankan Minister gave a fairly detailed presentation about the initiatives Sri Lanka is taking, of its own national efforts for reconciliation and accountability.
The two ministers have discussed measures Sri Lanka is taking in terms of initiatives relating to accountability and reconciliation on the island.
During the discussion, Prof. Peiris has thanked India for voting against the Operative Paragraph 10 of the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka, and indicated that steps are being taken currently by Sri Lanka will continue and strengthen local mechanisms to address the issue.
Professor Peiris has also briefed his Indian counterpart on the Parliamentary Select Committee process in Sri Lanka and the need to ensure its inclusivity.