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Full text of Indian Prime Minister’s letter to the Sri Lankan President

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Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh-pic: twitter.com/PMOIndia

Press Information Bureau, Government of India

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka on the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council.

The text of the Prime Minister’s letter to the President of Sri Lanka is as follows:

“Thank you for your letter of March 19 regarding the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council and the introduction of a resolution therein on the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka.

As Your Excellency is aware, the Government and the people of India have stood firmly by Sri Lanka in its struggle against terrorism. The end in May 2009 of a long and tragic conflict that had claimed numerous innocent lives, in Sri Lanka and in India, was something that we regarded as providing, at long last, an opportunity for genuine national reconciliation end for addressing the urgent needs of development and reconstruction of all citizens of Sri Lanka. Our two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure. Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your Government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka. I was also happy to learn of Your Excellency’s intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

We have also had occasion in the past to discuss the way ahead with regard to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation. It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect. I would like to reiterate to Your Excellency my Government’s commitment to continue to be of assistance in the achievement of this important objective.

With regard to the matter of the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution.

I wish to assure Your Excellency that, going forward, we will continue our engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength.”

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  1. With Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh deciding to place his interests as also those of the Congress above the national interest, India has committed one of its worst foreign policy blunders by voting for the US/EU-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. The vote marks a sharp departure from India’s long-standing principle of not voting in favour of country-specific resolutions at the UNHRC. On March 1, India abstained from voting on a resolution targeting Syria, a country in which India has little or no stake and where recent developments have been far less than happy.

    Yet, Manmohan Singh decided to vote in favour of the anti-Sri Lanka resolution, ignoring the twin facts that this would further sour bilateral relations and push Sri Lanka closer towards China & Pakistan. Manmohan Singh’s decision to break with past practice and deliver a body blow to India’s already shaky relations with Sri Lanka have nothing to do with the alleged ‘plight’ of Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. It’s a decision that has been entirely dictated by what Manmohan Singh lamely describes as “coalition compulsion” — the DMK, which keeps the Congress in power and Manmohan Singh in office, blackmailed him into voting for the resolution.

    In a sense, what was witnessed at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva was not India but Manmohan Singh voting against Sri Lanka. This is a vote that has shocked the overwhelming majority of Indians who believe the pursuit of national interest should shape the contours of India’s foreign policy; barring Tamil speaking chauvinists and their political patrons, few, if any, including in Tamil Nadu, would want to associate themselves with Manmohan Singh’s shameful deed of abandoning Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka needed India the most.

    USA would be gladdened by Manmohan Singh’s flawed decision, not the least because it diminishes, though not for the first time ever since this Government came to office, the primacy of India’s national interest. Nothing would delight USA more than an isolated, friendless India which is despised, if not hated, by its neighbours. USA has succeeded in achieving that collateral objective through this resolution; Manmohan Singh is complicit in ensuring that success.

    Strangely, Manmohan Singh claims that his decision to vote against Sri Lanka is aimed at helping Tamil speaking Sri Lankans “get justice”. That’s balderdash. It’s a non-binding resolution which Sri Lanka will be entirely justified in spurning with the contempt it deserves. If USA and its EU allies decide to take the issue to the UN Security Council, that move will be blocked by China and Russia — both countries have wisely voted against the resolution at UNHRC, placing their own interests above those of Western countries which are desperately seeking relevance in international affairs.

    Sri Lanka has rightly described the passage of the resolution as a move which will not foster reconciliation between the majority Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans and minority Tamil speaking Sri Lankans but only serve to further polarise ethnic communities. That’s precisely what busybodies in the West want — to disturb the peace that has prevailed ever since the LTTE was decimated by Sri Lanka’s military, and then fish in the troubled waters. India should have tried its best to prevent that goal from being achieved. Instead, India must now live with the shame of not only letting down a friend but also supping with its enemies. For that, only Manmohan Singh can be blamed.

  2. Dear brother Thayabharan,
    Do you know what India did with regard to the problems in Bangladesh, South Africa, and Palestine etc.?
    If you are genuine stop writing commends in pseudo name, and don’t bluff in this column without knowing your own history.

  3. Well it is time we sleep with Russia , China , Pakistan Iran and other friendly middel East .. India is afraid of China and Russia influence in Srilanka. After all who cares about Indians , they have more enemys than Srilanka. They talk big ,, but never resolve Kashmir issue. So how could they advice and guide Srilanka. If you are wise live by your examples.,,or stop talking baloney.

  4. Thayabharan,

    Forget all the global politics. This is about justice to the innocent people that was done. Lets not try to to be super intelligent and try to figure out why who voted for what.

    The evidence is shocking and indisputable. Deal with that first.

    The win against the LTTE did NOT REQUIRE what was carried out in the battle – specially at the end. genocide is he closest word I can think of that describes the behavior of the state troops. This is THE issue, dumbass.

    Dont cloud your self and attempt to confuse others.

  5. [It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect.]

    As long as mahinda does not implement 13 plus,he is gradually going to lose the support of india to ward off international pressure.There is a stupid commentator here called anonymous who is recommending us to go sleep with china and russia.Does he think we are prostitutes,to be used and discarded by others.First let us mend our fences with india by implementing the 13th amendment in full.regardless of its pros and cons,the indolanka accord is a agreement signed between india and srilanka.It is a slap in the face of india for us to unilaterally abrogate it,especially as a illustrious member of the first family of india paid with his life for it.manmohan has been emphasising this all along and has now also said to build on it further,by which he means the ‘plus’.We don’t need to implement the plus now because it is not part of the indo lanka accord,but we got to implement the 13th amendment in full,because singh has been steadfast in his support for us during trying times,and i have no doupht will be a good friend of srilanka.Our foreign policy should not be such that we make good friends into enemies.

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