Defence

‘Expect India to vote in favour of our country at UNHRC: Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary

By India Today

India has been urging Sri Lanka to implement and enforce the 13th amendment of its Constitution ever since the country’s war with Tamil separatists ended in 2009. At the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, India said that it supports its neighbour’s “unity and territorial integrity” and remains committed to “aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity”.

In an exclusive interview to India Today TV, Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retd) Jayanath Colombage on Monday said that he expects India to stand by and vote in favour of Sri Lanka ahead of next week’s UNHRC sessions on the island nation’s rights and accountability record.

“Abstention will not hamper ties. But India’s great leader speaks of ‘Neighbourhood First’. We are immediate neighbours,” Jayanath Colombage said.

ALLUDES TO TAMIL NADU ELECTIONS BECOMING FACTOR IN INDIA’S VOTING DECISION AT UNHRC

“We understand Tamil Nadu elections are coming up and Sri Lanka is always an issue. So we understand. India is a great friend. We expect India to stand by Sri Lanka. India is against country specific resolutions. They are against so-called rapporteurs being around to judge human rights situations in other countries. I think India is moving a resolution in that regard.”

ON PAKISTAN VISIT

“It was a bilateral visit. We did not visit [Pakistan] to garner OIC votes at UNHRC neither were we influenced by Imran Khan’s visit. We were very conscious of India’s concerns and ensured New Delhi is not embarrassed sorting the Pakistan Prime Minister’s visit.

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