General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

Impact of India's abstaining from Sri Lanka vote in UNHRC

MBA Aspirants are expected to know the happenings globally which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting our relationship with other countries.
Read:  Impact of India's abstaining from Sri Lanka vote in UNHRC 
Recently, India made headlines by abstaining from voting in the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) in Geneva. 
The resolution sought to authorize UNHRC to set up an independent international inquiry to look into human rights violations during the Sri Lankan civil war against the LTTE in 2009.
 India claimed that it had abstained from voting because the resolution was intrusive in nature and that the resolution might hinder the efforts of the country and make the situation more complicated instead of helping the people in Sri Lanka. In fact, Pakistan also rejected the resolution, claiming that the resolution was about politics and not on protecting the rights of humans. 
By abstaining from Sri Lanka vote in UNHRC, India has managed to strengthen its ties with the Sri Lankan government. Dayan Jayatilleka, a Sri Lankan diplomat, said he is happy with India’s decision. According to him, India exhibited excellent diplomacy.
Over the last few years, bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka have not been extremely strong – they have had their share of ups and downs. Delhi was happy with the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections but in terms of trade, Delhi faced a major setback, with Sri Lanka putting aside the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). By abstaining from Sri Lanka vote in UNHRC, India hoped to renew its friendship with Sri Lanka, which seemed to have gone sour over the last few years.
However, not all parties were happy with India’s decision. The Tamils in Sri Lanka, especially those affected by the war in 2009, were disappointed with India’s decision. The Tamils in Sri Lanka are originally from India, and with India not in favor of an independent international inquiry to look into human rights violations in 2009, it sends a wrong message to the Tamils that the home country is not keen to help them. 
In fact, the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R Sampanthan, said that he would like to understand why India decided to abstain from Sri Lanka vote in UNHRC. Many Tamils are waiting for an answer from India for abstaining from voting. And it is possible that this event could lead to hostility between Sri Lankan Tamils and Indians. 
By abstaining from Sri Lanka vote, India has indirectly communicated to the world that it is ready to help Sri Lanka in hiding human rights violations during the civil war. If the Sri Lankan government has nothing to fear, it would allow the US and the international community to carry out inquiries and investigations – the fact that Sri Lanka is not keen on the international community looking into human rights violations shows that the government has something to hide and India is acting as its ally.
Not everyone will be happy with the decisions we make – we are bound to make someone unhappy with our decisions. In this case, India tried to forge friendship with Sri Lanka but while doing so, it distanced itself from the Sri Lankan Tamils. In addition, India went against the US by abstaining from Sri Lanka vote – so this can be detrimental to India’s foreign ties with the US too. 
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