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   India inclined to vote in favour of Sri Lanka at UN - PM Manmohan
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced on Monday that India was “inclined to vote in favour” of a resolution on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka at the ongoing 19{+t}{+h} session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In his reply to the motion of thanks on the president's reply, the PM said, "As regards the issue of a draft resolution initiated by the US at the on-going 19th session of the UNHRC, we do not yet have the final text of the resolution. However, I may assure the House that we are inclined to vote in favour of a resolution. That, we hope, will advance our objective, namely, the achievement of the future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect."

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that India was still negotiating the final text with the U.S. and Sri Lanka and would vote for the resolution depending on what it eventually said.

Dr. Singh's statement, during his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address to Parliament, was greeted by members of the AIADMK, the DMK and other parties, with the thumping of desks.

The differences lie in the interpretation of the implications of India's vote. Those who wanted India to vote against the resolution said the decision could have a deleterious effect on New Delhi's ties with Colombo. During the last phase of the war against the LTTE, India had stood by the Rajapakse government. Post-war, India has heavily invested in Lanka's rehabilitation and reconstruction effort-from houses for displaced Tamils to schools to railway lines and other infrastructure-where Indian firms have at times edged out an increasingly aggressive Chinese presence. They fear China may return to the island nation with a vengeance.

Sri Lanka is important to India's security and an important component for India's Indian Ocean strategy and in combating piracy from Somalia. In recent months, India has teamed up with both Lanka and the Maldives to form a core group on maritime security in the region. There is a worry that this too may be affected.

The biggest gainers from the passage of this resolution would be the overseas Lankan Tamil diaspora, who support and maintain links with the LTTE. They could pressure the Tamil political party, TNA, to adopt a more hardline stand against the government, which could only delay or sour any political move. They would have hoped that India gave a strongly-worded demarche to Colombo, while opposing the resolution.

India had emphasised to the Sri Lankan government that there should be a “genuine process” of reconciliation to address the grievances of the ethnic Tamils and implement the recommendations of a high-level committee, whose report was tabled in that nation's Parliament, he said.

For lasting peace, India had asked the Sri Lankan government to stand by its commitment to broaden the dialogue with political parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, to achieve a forward looking and meaningful devolution of power and genuine national reconciliation, Dr. Singh said. 
Mon 19 Mar, 2012,10:56:09 PM
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