Oct 31 (NIE) India is likely articulate the need for an early and fair political settlement in its statement before during the universal periodic review of Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday
On November 1 at Geneva, Sri Lanka's human rights records will be under the spotlight for over three hours by members of the working group of UPR, where countries will present their views, as well as have an interactive discussion with Sri Lankan delegation.
India has an enhanced role, as a member of the 'troika' along with Spain and Benin, who have to act as rapporteurs, collating questions and submissions from other countries. The troika also has the responsibility to draw up the outcome document, after the review is completed with the involvement of the concerned country.
The troika was chosen by a draw of lots earlier this year. According to sources, India will try to present an "objective and constructive" view on the way forward to reach reconciliation in the island nation, during its allotted time of one minute.
"At the same time, we will also articulate the foremost concerns based on the opinion of the people of India, as well as the international community," said the sources. The "foremost concern" is an effective and fair political settlement, based on devolution of power through the effective implementation of the 13th amendment.
When India and Sri Lanka had last been in a UNHRC hall during a formal session in March, New Delhi had shocked Colombo by voting in favour of a US-backed resolution, which indicted the Rajapaksa regime for not doing enough in addressing human rights concerns and reaching a final settlement. While the Manmohan Singh government had come under pressure from Tamil Nadu political parties to vote in favour, there was also great deal of annoyance with Colombo as it had not kept earlier promises and was dragging its feet on a political settlement.
Following that vote, the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and his meeting with the Indian leadership, helped ease several kinks in the relations, with the former assuring that it was committed to the implementation of the 13th amendment.
Singh had stressed to Rajapaksa that it should speak to the Tamil National Alliance, who had demonstrated their reliance as a dialogue partner. At the same time, during TNA delegation's visit this month, New Delhi urged them to join the parliamentary committee to reach a consensus on devolution of power.
Meanwhile, several questions submitted by other countries in advance before the scheduled date of Sri Lanka's UPR, related to the devolution of power and delay in holding elections in the northern provinces. Rajapaksa had assured India during his visit that he will hold elections "soon".