UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

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  • Bidisha asked: What could be the implications of India's abstention from the recent UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka?

    Gulbin Sultana replies: Though India had abstained from voting, the resolution A/HRC/25/1 on “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” was passed at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on March 27, 2014 by a vote of 23 in favour of it.

    Prathap Singh asked: What are the implicit interests of the US in sponsoring a resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka? What is India’a stand on the resolution?

    Gulbin Sultana replies: Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the US have effectively influenced the members of the Congress and the Department of State through US lobbying firms to sponsor resolutions in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) reportedly used the Washington lobbying firm, KSCW Inc., to table Resolution 177 against Sri Lanka in the US House with 53 signatures which included influential and prominent house members in 2012. The USTPAC reportedly invested US$ 30, 000 to get H. Resolution 177 tabled. The USTPAC is also said to have influenced Congressmen Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) to spearhead Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka. The Caucus launched at the US Congress in November 2013, played a major role in initiating resolution against Sri Lanka at the 25th session of the UNHRC.

    Since the end of Eelam War IV in May 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has passed four resolutions on Sri Lanka: the first resolution was passed on May 27, 2009 during the special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka; second on March 22, 2012 during the 19th session of the UNHRC; third on March 21, 2013 during the 22nd session of the UNHRC; and, the fourth resolution was passed on March 27, 2014 during the 25th session of the UNHRC. In 2009, India voted in favour of Sri Lanka, but in 2012 and 2013 India voted against Sri Lanka. In 2014, India abstained from voting since the latest resolution called for an international investigative mechanism, which was considered by India as an intrusive approach.

    Posted on April 15, 2014

    Why India must vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC?

    India must vote against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in order to force the latter to set up its own enquiry commission on war crimes, implement the recommendations of the LLRC pertaining to the rights of Tamils, and evolve its own ‘home grown’ solution to the ethnic issue.

    March 20, 2013

    The Sri Lanka File at the UNHRC: Need for India to Adopt a Balanced and Firm Approach

    It will be in keeping with the normative principles of India’s foreign policy to support a resolution that does not undermine Sri Lanka’s sovereignty but stipulates a time-bound and monitorable implementation by the SLG as well as UNHRC of remedial measures in accordance with the LLRC recommendations.

    March 12, 2013

    “We do not need to be told. We do not need to be taught”: Sri Lanka at the 22nd UNHRC, Geneva

    This year, India needs to be reminded that the situation in Sri Lanka has drastically deteriorated: the GoSL has weakened democracy, dismantled the judiciary and not followed through on any of the areas of reform that were called for last year.

    March 01, 2013

    A Wake up Call for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC

    India’s vote at the UNHRC may is the first step to send a clear message to the Rajapakse government that it cannot continue to postpone a political resolution of the Tamil issue.

    April 09, 2012

    UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka: India’s Options

    India must use the opportunity to extract a commitment from Sri Lanka to initiate a serious process of dialogue aimed at evolving a political solution to the Tamil issue.

    March 19, 2012

    The Role of UNHCR and Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

    The protection and shelter of millions of Afghans on Pakistan soil for over three decades has amplified the image of UNHCR as a humanitarian institution, which has worked along with the government of Pakistan to manage the burden of the largest caseload of refugees in the world. The office is credited with having carried out the largest repatriation of Afghans (approximately 3.6 million) to their home country since 2002. This operation has greatly enhanced the credibility and esteem of the UNHCR both within Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    November 2011