Colombo, October 6: Sri Lanka lost the vote on the human rights situation in the country at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Thursday.
Out of the 47 members, 20 voted in favor of the resolution that castigated Sri Lanka for a variety of human rights violations and for disregarding calls for accountability. Seven voted against and 20 abstained.
The last time a vote taken on a similar resolution in March 2021, 22 had voted for the resolution, 11 against and 14 abstained.
Just like it did in March 2021, Sri Lanka is likely to claim that the nays and abstentions put together outnumber the ayes and therefore the resolution cannot be considered an outright victory for the movers of the resolution that are White Western nations and their allies in the Global South. Those countries which voted against the resolution and those who abstained were all from the Global South except Japan. Japan broke away from its Western alliance and abstained like India, Nepal and Brazil. Those countries which had always voted against th resolution continued to vote against it. India, which has tended to abstain, abstained this time too.
The resolution on “promoting reconciliation, accountability, and human rights in Sri Lanka” was presented at the 51st session of the UNHRC by the Permanent Representative to the UK in Geneva, Ambassador Simon Manley. The resolution was proposed by the core group on Sri Lanka, comprising Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and 30 other countries.
Presenting the resolution, Manley said the text is largely based on last year’s resolution but has been updated to reflect some of the key developments over the last 18 months in what has been a rather dramatic time for Sri Lanka – an economic crisis, mass protests, and a change in government, all of which have had a significant bearing on the human rights situation in the country.
Speaking earlier, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry categorically rejected the new draft resolution presented against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
Rejecting the new resolution, Minister Ali Sabry said the draft resolution had been presented without Sri Lanka’s consent or consultation.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry further said the new resolution will not be helpful to the country.
Meanwhile, China had also called on the other nations to reject the new draft resolution. Pakistan had also called for a vote on the resolution, stating that it will vote against it as it is outside the purview of the Council’s mandate and does not include provisions for atrocities committed by the LTTE. Japan said that it will abstain from voting on the resolution presented against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.