New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, explaining why India voted in favour of the US resolution, which calls for Colombo to investigate human rights violations during its war with Tamil separatists.
Here is the full text of the letter:
"Thank you for your letter of March 19 regarding the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council and the introduction of a resolution therein on the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka.
As Your Excellency is aware, the Government and the people of India have stood firmly by Sri Lanka in its struggle against terrorism. The end in May 2009 of a long and tragic conflict that had claimed numerous innocent lives, in Sri Lanka and in India, was something that we regarded as providing, at long last, an opportunity for genuine national reconciliation end for addressing the urgent needs of development and reconstruction of all citizens of Sri Lanka.
Our two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure. Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your Government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka. I was also happy to learn of Your Excellency's intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.
We have also had occasion in the past to discuss the way ahead with regard to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation. It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect. I would like to reiterate to Your Excellency my Government's commitment to continue to be of assistance in the achievement of this important objective.
With regard to the matter of the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution.
I wish to assure Your Excellency that, going forward, we will continue our engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength."