India, Japan skip vote on Sri Lanka resolution adopted at UNHRC
* 22 vote for, 11 against and 14 abstained
* Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines stand with Lanka
By Shamindra Ferdinando
India skipped yesterday’s vote on the UK-led resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ as the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the resolution.
Of the 47 countries, 22 voted for the resolution, and 11 voted against it with 14 abstaining. Sri Lanka is not a member of the UNHRC. The US, which is also not a UNHRC member, declared its support for the resolution.
The resolution was the first to be put to the vote in keeping with the e-voting procedures established for the UNHRC 46th Session, which has been held virtually. On behalf of Sri Lanka, China called for a vote after Sri Lanka’s efforts to reach a consensus on the resolution proposed by the UK-led Core group failed.
In the run-up to yesterday’s vote, the government requested India to back Sri Lanka.
Foreign Secretary retired Admiral Jayanath Colombage is on record as having said that the government requested Premier Modi, in writing, to throw its weight behind Sri Lanka.
Yesterday’s defeat was the fourth suffered by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC since 2012. Sri Lanka brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009.
Asian nations China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines voted against the resolution along with Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Eritrea, Somalia and Uzbekistan.
South Korea in spite of close relations with
Sri Lanka voted against the country at the behest of the US.
The resolution received the backing of the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, Côte D’ivoire, Czechoslovakia, Fiji, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Poland, Korea and Uruguay.
Along with India, Japan-both members of the US led military alliance against China abstained. Nepal and Indonesia, too, regardless of their close relations with Sri Lanka succumbed to pressure to skip the vote. Other countries to abstain were Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Senegal, Sudan and Togo.
The resolution calls for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to enhance its monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, including progress on reconciliation and accountability, and to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session, as well as a written update at its forty-ninth session, and a comprehensive report that includes further options for advancing accountability, at its fifty-first session, both to be discussed in the context of an interactive dialogue.
The resolution also urged the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders to provide, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps.
The EU member states and those aligned with US led Western powers either voted for the resolution or abstained.
Heat index at caution level in Northern, North-Central, North-western and Eastern provinces and Monaragala and Hambanthota districts.
Heat index Advisory Issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre at 06.30 a.m. 27 May 2023, valid for 27 May 2023
Heat index, the temperature felt on human body is expected to increase up to ‘Caution’ level at some places in Northern, North-Central, North-western and Eastern provinces and Monaragala and Hambanthota districts.
Navy update Mullaitivu fishing communities of prevailing issues in industry
The Sri Lanka Navy held a special meeting at SLNS Gotabaya in Mullaitivu recently, to update the fishing communities in Mullaitivu of prevailing issues in the industry. The meeting was chaired by Commander Eastern Naval Area and Commandant Volunteer Naval Force, Rear Admiral Dammika Kumara.
During the meeting, the local fishing communities raised their concerns over poaching by foreign fishermen in their waters as well as illegal fishing practices of a handful of local fishermen. The Navy updated the fishing communities regarding the collaborative efforts undertaken by the Navy, Coast Guard, and Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to combat illegal fishing practices.
President spearheads Sri Lanka’s economic revival and seeks Japanese investment
President Ranil Wickremesinghe actively engaged in a pivotal business round table on “Sri Lanka’s Economic Revival & Opportunities for Japanese Enterprise,” where he presented the nation’s commitment to stabilizing and liberalizing the economy while actively inviting new foreign ventures.
The event, jointly organized by JETRO, Japan-Sri Lanka Business Co-Operation, and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, aimed to strengthen economic ties between the two nations.
During the round table, President Wickremesinghe fervently outlined the ongoing efforts undertaken by Sri Lanka to restore stability and openness to its economy, presenting an inviting climate for foreign investment. With a clear vision to attract Japanese enterprise, he discussed the various measures and reforms being implemented to create a conducive business environment for potential investors.
Recognizing Japan’s significance as a vital economic partner, President Wickremesinghe emphasized the mutual benefits that can be derived from increased collaboration between the two nations. Sri Lanka’s strategic location and skilled workforce were highlighted as key advantages, providing a gateway for Japanese companies to expand their operations in the region and leverage the country’s emerging economic opportunities.
As Sri Lanka continues its journey toward economic revival, President Wickremesinghe’s active participation in the round table, underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to attracting foreign investment and driving sustainable economic progress.
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