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India reserves its response on request for support at UNHRC sessions

Sri Lanka’s government representatives are to face and defend allegations on human rights violations and past grave abuses at the upcoming 4hth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, beginning Monday (February 22), official sources said.

The UNHRC is ready to stand up for international rule of law and pass a resolution that establishes an international accountability mechanism capable of delivering justice to victims of war in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

The Core Group on Sri Lanka (UK, Canada, Germany and two small nations) will table a tough resolution on the lines of Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s damning report and it will likely have the support of the new US administration.

Sri Lanka is aggressively attacking efforts to hold officials to account for past grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 93-page report, “Open Wounds and Mounting Dangers: Blocking Accountability for Grave Abuses in Sri Lanka,” examines efforts by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to thwart justice in seven prominent human rights cases.

It describes the current context of government repression of activists, journalists, lawyers, and the families of victims, as well as threats against vulnerable minorities.

Under this set up, Sri Lanka needs India’s support but it is doubtful due to strained relations with the island nation in-spite of intense lobbying by SL diplomats to reach a compromise resolution, a senior foreign ministry official said.

India is yet to formally respond to Sri Lanka’s request for support at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage told a private television station that Sri Lanka had sent a special request letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said that Sri Lanka had requested Modi for India’s support at the upcoming UNHRC session in Geneva.

However, Colombage said that India has yet to formally respond to the request.

He said that despite certain incidents which took place in recent days Sri Lanka is confident India will give a positive response.

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