Sri Lanka’s Northern Province resolution: Indian officials wary

Any attempt to challenge the new government in Colombo with an international genocide probe could “complicate matters”, sources in New Delhi say.

Updated - April 02, 2016 05:51 am IST

Published - February 11, 2015 12:37 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Indian government took note of the resolution by the Sri Lankan Northern Provincial Council internally, but officials said it was too early to gauge its importance to the reconciliation process already initiated by President Maithripala Sirisena’s new government. Officials are studying if the genocide resolution would affect the Geneva conference of the UNHRC, where the U.N. special rapporteur is due to submit a report on a U.S.-sponsored “war crimes investigations” that could also lead to a resolution against Sri Lanka being tabled. India would be keen to see any such resolution put off, it is understood, so as to allow the new Sri Lankan government time to implement its promises to the Northern provinces.

India not for war crimes probe against Sri Lanka

Any attempt to challenge the new government in Colombo with an international genocide investigation at this point could “complicate matters,” sources in New Delhi have said.

The U.N. special rapporteur is expected to submit a report on a U.S.-sponsored “war crimes investigations” and a resolution on Sri Lanka’s ‘genocide against Tamils’ could also be tabled then. India has traditionally opposed any international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, a position that led to India abstaining from the U.S.-backed resolution at the UNHRC in March 2014.

Sources told The Hindu that the issue of reconciliation and rehabilitation for the Tamil-dominated areas will be a key issue when President Sirisena meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week. “The government will be keen to discuss the new government’s plans as well as the just-started talks on repatriation of 1 lakh Sri Lankan refugees living in India.”

In Delhi last month, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who met with Mr. Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, said that the Sirisena government would implement a “credible domestic mechanism” for reconciliation, but wouldn’t allow any international inquiry into allegations of human rights violations during the war against the LTTE.

President Sirisena will visit India from February 15 to 18, his first international engagement since he was sworn in.

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