News

    India May Back Human Rights Resolution Against Sri Lanka

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, March 12, 2012.
    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, March 12, 2012.

    Under domestic pressure, India's prime minister says the country may back a United Nations resolution this week criticizing Sri Lanka for alleged human rights abuses. Human rights groups accuse Sri Lanka's army of deliberately attacking tens of thousands of civilians in the final months of its decades-long struggle against Tamil separatist terrorists.

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the possible support for a vote against Sri Lanka Monday in Parliament. “I may assure the House that we are inclined to vote in favor of a resolution that we hope will advance our objectives," he explained. "Namely, the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self respect."

    The measure, still being drafted, is expected to come up for a vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council Friday. It is expected to express concern about the Sri Lankan military's actions in 2009, as it crushed the remnants of Tamil separatist terrorists in the island's Northeast.

    Last year, a panel of U.N. appointed researchers said there was reason to suspect Sri Lanka deliberately shelled tens of thousands of civilians in areas the government had declared safe -- including hospitals. Sri Lanka denies that.

    Indian Tamil parties allied to Prime Minister Singh's governing coalition have threatened to withdraw its ministers if India does not support the resolution. Singh addressed those parties directly Monday.

    "Raised by honorable members regarding the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Since the end of conflict in Sri Lanka, our focus has been on the welfare and well-being of the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka," Singh stated.

    Sreeram Chaulia, vice dean at India's Jindal School of International Affairs, says India's support for the resolution is a good step -- but is happening for the wrong reasons.  "I would have liked this to happen without pressure from the Tamil political party. It should be seen rather as a regional and as a global issue rather than just an ethnic issue," he said.

    Chaulia says Sri Lanka has long played what he calls “the China card” against India, implicitly threatening closer cooperation with Beijing if India does not offer its support. He says India should be using this vote to send a geopolitical message.

    "We won't be frightened by the prospect that we have to moderate ourselves because of the China card. But it'll be interesting to see, for example, if Sri Lanka tries to go to the point of inviting the Chinese military to do joint exercises or to turn up on their ports or something like that," Chaulia explained.

    Regional specialists say full accountability for actions by both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war is a crucial first step toward genuine reconciliation.  They say without that there is every chance that insurgency and violence could erupt again.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora