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Sri Lankan ethnic groups divided over UN resolution on civil war probe

Colombo, Thu, 22 Mar 2012 ANI

Colombo, Mar 22 (ANI): Sri Lanka's ethnic groups are divided over a US resolution demanding an independent investigation into government atrocities carried out in country's 26-year civil war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009, according to a report.

US officials are pushing for a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, and claim to have enough support to get the council's members to accept the motion at an ongoing meeting in Geneva that ends on Friday.

According to The Wall Street Journal, supporters of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa believe that protests against the resolution are spontaneous and indicate anger at the US for intervening in their country's internal affairs.

Even those who oppose Rajapaksa acknowledged that a wide swath of Sri Lankan society opposes the US policy toward the government, but they also claim Rajapaksa is behind the protests, reportedly paying demonstrators and urging state employees to come onto the streets.

The paper quotes a Sri Lankan government official, as saying that many Sri Lankans feel "the U.S. and European Union are not treating Sri Lanka fairly."

"They feel they've been liberated from the war by Rajapaksa's government and now are facing unjust international condemnation," the official added.

According to the paper, the country's Tamil minority, however, supports the resolution, which they believe is needed to force Sri Lanka to own up to the abuses carried out by the government forces against Tamil civilians during the war.

Meanwhile, Columbo's efforts to lobby countries to oppose the resolution has suffered a major setback with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying this week that he is "inclined" to support the UN resolution to probe the Lankan armed forces abuses.

Sri Lanka haswarned the US and other countries that pushing the issue will only anger the country's majority Sinhalese population, many of whom revere Rajapaksa for defeating the rebel Tamil Tigers.

Sri Lanka has publicly called on India to have a rethink on its position. (ANI)

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