Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has timely clarified India’s position voting in favor of the UNHCR resolution that censures Sri Lankan government for alleged human rights violations during the civil war.
Debunking the popular theory that Chennai forced New Delhi to vote in favour of the resolution, Prime Minister Singh said that India actually worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it "non-intrusive".
In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was categorical that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an "element of balance" in the US-sponsored resolution.
"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."
At the same time Indian Prime Minister underlined the need for achieving a lasting political settlement that would address the grievances of Tamil minority in Sri Lanka.
"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."
At the signing note Prime Minister’s letter reads; “India would continue its 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.”
Manmohan Singh’s letter clearly dispels doubts that India voted against Sri Lanka at Geneva due to "domestic compulsions."
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org