New Delhi: India voted in favor of a US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka calling for Colombo to investigate human rights violations during the war with LTTE.
While Colombo has called India's anti-Lanka vote a big disappointment, the opinion is divided back in India with some calling it a monumental error made under US pressure.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy said, "It's a monumental blunder. India has shown that we don't care for our backyard. We became a junior partner and destroyed our independence."
Indian diplomat KC Singh said, "India has taken the right stand for the wrong reasons."
As experts argue about India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, the larger question is the impact it will have on Colombo-New Delhi ties.
Soon after the resolution Colombo expressed its unhappiness with New Delhi. The most distressing feature of this experience is the reality that voting at UNHRC is now determined not by the merits of a particular issue, but by strategic alliances and domestic political issues in other countries which have nothing to do with the subject.
Back in India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "We don't want to infringe on Sri Lanka's sovereignty but our concerns should be expressed so Tamils get justice and dignity."
Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Naranasamy said, "Our relations with Sri Lanka will not be strained. The Prime Minister had already made it clear in Parliament that our government does not support violation of human rights in any country. Whenever there is violation of human rights in any country India will object."
While the implications are international the reasons for India's vote seemed to be domestic political pressure from Tamil Nadu parties including UPA ally DMK.
The DMK was happy with India's vote. "Most important is making sure that Tamils get their rights and they get justice," DMK leader Kanimozhi said.
Beneath that political grandstanding the reality observers say is that the initial draft of the resolution has been watered down to a great degree. They say it may not change much for the Tamils in the island but are gauging how it changes New Delhi-Colombo ties, especially as several countries in the region including China supported Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.
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