In today’s episode we look ahead to a crucial session of the United Nations human rights council on March 22 which will take up a resolution against Sri Lanka. This draft resolution as it is called is based on a damning report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) which warned that Sri Lanka’s failure to address human rights violations and war crimes committed in the past had put the country on a “dangerous path” that could lead to a “recurrence” of policies and practices that gave rise to the earlier situation.
The UN human rights council has moved several resolutions against Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict with the LTTE 12 years ago, but while Sri Lanka been a co-sponsor of such resolutions the Rajapaksa dispensation has always seen such moves by the UN as unwanted foreign interference. In 2020, Sri Lanka withdrew from an earlier Human Rights Council resolution under which it had committed, five years previously, to a time-bound investigation of war crimes that took place during the military campaign against the LTTE.
This time Sri Lanka has officially sought India’s help to muster support against the resolution, something that India has never done in the past, but it finds itself having to weigh several geopolitical concerns, not least the growing influence of China in Sri Lanka. What factors could go into India’s vote and what ramifications will it have for the geopolitics of the region.
Guest: Meera Srinivasan, Colombo Correspondent, The Hindu
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