Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected Thursday’s U.N. Human Rights Council resolution ordering a war crimes probe, telling AFP that he would instead press ahead with his own reconciliation plan.
“We reject this,” Mr. Rajapaksa said. “This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help.
“But I am not discouraged. We will continue with the reconciliation process I have started,” he added in a phone call.
Despite the overall vote, Mr. Rajapaksa said he had drawn comfort from India’s abstention in Geneva which followed widespread expectations that New Delhi would support the U.S.-led censure move.
“I think it is encouraging that India did not vote against us,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
A senior government official who declined to be named said Sri Lanka considered India’s abstention as a diplomatic triumph.
Sri Lanka had maintained that the resolution was an unacceptable intrusion and a violation of the island’s sovereignty.
Mr. Rajapaksa said his home-grown process known as the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) had made sweeping recommendations to ensure ethnic unity and he was implementing them.
“We need time to implement the recommendations of the LLRC,” Mr. Rajapaksa said. “I want to repeat again that we are going ahead with this process.”
He said the U.S. had mounted a major campaign to drum up support for the censure motion and he was at a disadvantage from the start.