Home Contact Us  
   

India - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#3588, 19 March 2012
 
IPCS Debate: The UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka
N Manoharan
Vivekananda International Foundation
email: mailtomanohar@gmail.com
 

India again faces dilemma over Sri Lanka on the US-sponsored resolution at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) moved on 06 March 2012 which comes up for voting on 23 March 2012.

The resolution requests Sri Lanka to “implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC) and to “initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.” It also wants Sri Lanka to “present a comprehensive action plan as expeditiously as possible detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law.”

To break this resolution, Sri Lanka has sent a 52-member delegation to campaign support from the member countries of the UNHRC. The crux of the argument placed by Colombo is that the problems should be dealt with internally and any solution has to be “home grown.” It cited appointment of a Court of Inquiry by its Army and a promise of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. To Colombo, any UN action “would only lead to derailing the ongoing reconciliation process that has been put in place by the government.” According to a minister of the Rajapaksa government, “if we submit to this resolution, Tiger terrorists will raise their head again.”

The Court of Inquiry appointed by the Army - is it not too late and too little? How far is it independent and how impartial its findings would be? The LLRC has indeed talked about the need for demilitarisation, investigation of disappearances, apart from acknowledging existence of ethnic grievances and even support to the devolution of powers to minorities. But the issue is its failure to fix accountability for human rights abuses during Eelam War IV. For the collateral damage, the report reasoned it out as a result of LTTE action and military reaction. Most importantly, the LLRC did not give any action plan on the way forward either on reconciliation or devolution. It is only after the introduction of resolution in Geneva on 27 February that talks of roadmap have commenced.

What should India do now?

Should India support the resolution as pressed by all parliamentarians from Tamil Nadu, or should it oppose the resolution keeping in mind the interest of bilateral ties with Sri Lanka? In a letter to Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha, past and present chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh outlined that “We are engaged with all parties in an effort to achieve an outcome that is forward-looking and that ensures that rather than deepening confrontation and mistrust between the concerned parties, a way forward is found on issues related to accountability and reconciliation.”

What is this “forward-looking” solution? Although it has not been spelt out, it should be looking beyond voting ‘for’ or ‘against’ the resolution. It should be a ‘win-win’. Sri Lanka should save its face, but at the same time the larger objective of accountability and reconciliation insisted by the resolution should be achieved. This requires a rework of the present resolution. Since accountability is sensitive in Sri Lanka, it can be taken-off from the resolution completely and can be addressed separately. Colombo can be persuaded to accept a non-partial investigation, involving combination of local and international experts, on the issues raised by various international and human rights organisations on the excesses committed by the government forces.

On reconciliation, Colombo should be made to realise that military defeat of the LTTE was not the end of all; only a political settlement that addresses grievances of minority communities can lead to lasting peace on the island. Unfortunately, this seems not on the priority list of Rajapaksa regime. In a recent interview, President Mahinda Rajapaksa outlined his thoughts on political settlement succinctly when he said, “We are keen on a sustainable political settlement. But it must have wide acceptance, especially in the context of the post-conflict situation.” When this pronouncement is taken seriously, writing on the wall is clear.

At the maximum, what is on cards is some arrangement revolving around the existing 13th amendment. Unless there is genuine power sharing, the Provincial Council arrangement will be mere eyewash. The best option is to go beyond 13th amendment framework as always insisted by India. While this will take time to work, Colombo should meanwhile seriously implement recommendations of the LLRC. An action plan on the implementation could be the basis for the UNHRC resolution. The US also should be persuaded to take this action plan as the final resolution and pass it as a consensual document.

In case Sri Lanka refuses to make international commitment on reconciliation; in case Washington insists on going ahead with the present resolution without any amendments, the second best option for India is to abstain from voting. It would convey a clear-cut message to Colombo, “Our friendship is very important, but that thrives on making commitments and, most importantly, seriously implementing them.” And, to the West, the signal would be “your resolutions will remain mere paper tigers as long as they are away from the reality.”

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
N Manoharan,
"Devolution in Sri Lanka: The Latest Take," 27 February 2012
J Jeganaathan,
"LLRC Report on Sri Lanka’s War: Pride, Prejudice and Paradise," 31 January 2012
J Jeganaathan,
"Sri Lanka’s post-war Foreign Policy Strategy: Europeans out and Chinese in?," 21 April 2011
N Manoharan,
"‘Taming the Tigers’: Reintegration of Surrendered LTTE Cadres," 29 March 2011

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
India-Maldives Relations: A Tale of Two Concerns

Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh: Designs and Network in India

India-Sri Lanka: Time to Settle the Fishermen Issue

Sri Lanka: A New Base for ISI against India?

Ebola: Concerns for India

Left-wing Extremism 2013: The Threat Continues

Maldives 2013: End of Political Stalemate

CHOGM, India and Sri Lanka: New Delhi’s Missed Opportunities

Sri Lanka: TNA in the Northern Province

Presidential Elections in Maldives: A Pre-Poll Analysis

Indian Mujahideen: After Yasin Bhatkal's Arrest

India and the Peace Process in Sri Lanka: So Close, Yet So Far

Sri Lanka and the 13th Amendment: The Arithmetic of ‘Plus’ and ‘Minus’

Sri Lanka and the 13th Amendment: Reconciling Differing Viewpoints

Naxal Violence: What should be Done to Counter?

Sri Lanka: Third UNHRC Resolution and India’s Dilemma

Hyderabad Terror Attacks: Road-blocks in the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC)

Maldives: GMR, Nexbis and the Tale of Two Ousters

Maldives: Indian Investments vis-a-vis Chinese Footprints

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s India Visit: Taking the Ties Forward

Sri Lanka: 25 Years After the IPKF

Devolution in Sri Lanka: The Latest Take

‘Taming the Tigers’: Reintegration of Surrendered LTTE Cadres

Fishing in Troubled Waters: Indian Fishermen and India-Sri Lanka Relations

Alternative Strategies for Indo-Sri Lankan Relations: Passenger Ferry Service

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.