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Sri Lanka blows hot and cold against India

Sri Lanka,Diplomacy,Politics,Immigration/Law/Rights, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 IANS

Colombo, March 24 (IANS) Sri Lanka is blowing hot and cold against India following the passage of a resolution in Geneva that raised questions over rights violations during the war on the Tamil Tigers.


While President Mahinda Rajapaksa warned that countries which voted for the resolution will have to worry about consequences of terrorism, a minister mildly praised India for dilution of the impact of the resolution.


India was one of 24 nations which voted for the resolution, but after ensuring critical amendments that forbade intrusion into Sri Lankan affairs by the UN or others. quoted Rajapaksa as saying that "no external forces will be allowed to threaten the country's sovereignty".


Speaking Friday, he vowed to continue his government's development and reconciliation programmes in the island's northeastern region that was the former war zone.


He asked people not to fall "prey to conspirators, opportunists and traitors".


The president commended the 15 countries which voted against "the anti-Lanka resolution for their support" and the eight nations which abstained from the vote in the 47-member UN Human Rights Council.


Countries which voted against Sri Lanka would have to be concerned of consequences of terrorism in the future, he was quoted as saying.


But Minister Maithreepala Sirisena pointed out that the resolution was passed with the amendments added by India to safeguard Sri Lanka from "the interferences of UN bodies".


These amendments ensured that no intrusions can be imposed without the consent of the government, he added.


India forced the US to amend its resolution to safeguard Sri Lanka from international intrusions by adding a clause that said the UNHRC can provide advice and technical assistance "in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the government of Sri Lanka".


Sri Lanka downplayed India's support to the resolution, saying New Delhi gave in to pressures from its coalition partners in Tamil Nadu ranged against Colombo.


Another minister, Dullas Alahapperuma, urged the Sri Lankan public not to hate India for supporting the resolution.


Although India had gone the extra mile to make the resolution less "intrusive", New Delhi's siding with the West against an ally which stands by India in every platform "is seen as a betrayal", he said.


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