Seeking the “active” support of India on a resolution to be put up soon for voting in the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka said, “India cannot leave us.”
In a recent address by Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar to the Council, referring to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Admiral Jayanath Columbus (retd) said, “As your foreign minister said, if the world is one family, we are your closest family.” Huh.” The English newspaper ‘ The Hindu ‘ has featured this news prominently.
In a conversation with The Hindu newspaper , the former Secretary-General, the Foreign Secretary, spoke about the ongoing session in Geneva, India-Sri Lanka relations, foreign policy choices over the border of Colombo, and Sri Lanka on the strategy of “internal” reconciliation.
Jayanath Columbus said that Sri Lanka would be “very uncomfortable” if India did not support the neighbouring country in Geneva. He hoped that India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan among the current council members would support Sri Lanka, as these countries have many similarities, “fighting covid-19 and facing human rights violations.”
Our President (Gotabhaya Rajapaksa) wrote the first letter to the Indian Prime Minister, appealing for support and he made his first meeting with the Indian High Commissioner as we are very conscious of South Asian solidarity,” he said.
At the same time he said, “Sri Lanka is in great need of support from our good neighbors and we are not asking for anything unusual, based on your Neighborhood First policy, on the basis of security and development for all in the region (Sagar) are demanding.”
He has made this appeal at a time when India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations are seen to be deteriorating. This has been shown after many decisions of Sri Lanka regarding development plans related to India and China.
If India does not vote in the Council, will Sri Lanka see it as an endorsement? In response, the Foreign Secretary said that he expects “active” and “constructive” commitment instead.
Despite this, Columbus, who appears ready to face a potentially unfavorable resolution, said, “It is difficult for a country in South Asia to win this election because of the double standards of the Council and the pretense.” He said this while pointing to rights violations and police brutality in developed countries.
He said that efforts for reconciliation should take place within the country itself. He said, “We cannot do anything because someone will put a gun on our head and say,” Let’s do reconciliation. This will never happen. “
He said that punitive steps like economic sanctions will harm more people than the government.
Asked how the government can correct the lack of trust clearly visible within the country, the minorities have repeatedly expressed disbelief in the programs created in the country, he said, divided into 30 years of war. It will take time for reconciliation in communities.
It has to be seen how India votes on Sri Lanka’s proposal. The proposal comes after UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michele Bachelet reported that “Sri Lanka is on the way to serious human rights violations”, although Sri Lanka has completely denied it.
During the talks on the Sri Lankan case in Council last week, India reiterated Jaishankar’s message in Colombo in January and appealed to Sri Lanka to take necessary steps to address the “legitimate aspirations” of Tamils, including the process of reconciliation and Sri Lanka The 13th amendment to the constitution includes full implementation.