Issuing his statement on OHCHR report on Sri Lanka, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said they believed that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes directly to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka.
Full statement is as follows,
We have taken note of the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka and her oral remarks. The Council has adopted 7 Resolutions on the question of human rights in Sri Lanka since May 2009, when the three decades old conflict in that country ended.
India has been an active participant in the discussions on these Resolutions and has remained engaged with Sri Lanka as its close friend and immediate neighborIndia’s consistent position rests on two pillars:
i). Support for Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity.
ii). Abiding commitment to aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity.
These are not either-or choices.choices. We believe that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes directly to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka.
Therefore, we advocate that delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best interests of Sri Lanka. We call upon Sri Lanka to take necessary steps for addressing such aspirations, including through the process of reconciliation and full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
The assessment of the High Commissioner regarding developments nearly 12 years from the end of the conflict raises important concerns. The Sri Lankan Government has articulated its position on these issues as well. In evaluation of both of these, we should be guided by a commitment to find a lasting and effective solution for this issue.