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QUESTION NO.1207 INTERNATIONAL PROBE INTO ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSESIN SRI LANKA

July 29, 2021

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1207
TO BE ANSWERED ON 29.07.2021

INTERNATIONAL PROBE INTO ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSESIN SRI LANKA

1207. SHRI VAIKO:

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:

(a) whether Sri Lankan Tamil political parties have sought international probe into allegations of human rights abuses during the civil war;

(b) if so, the stand of Government;

(c) whether India will initiate measures for international probe in view of no scope for domestic process that would go into deal with accountability against human rights abuses in Sri Lanka;

(d) whether India advised Sri Lanka diplomatically on the restoration of burial rights to Sri Lankan Muslims and against the persecution of Tamils and their lands through militarization and surveillance;

(e) if so, the details thereof; and

(f) if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN)

(a) It is understood that some Tamil political parties based in Sri Lanka have sought an international probe into allegations of human rights abuses during the civil war.

(b) to (f) India has always supported efforts to preserve Sri Lanka’s character as a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious society in which all citizens, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, can live in equality, safety and harmony, and prosper and fulfil their aspirations within a united Sri Lanka. In this context, the Government of India has consistently called upon Sri Lanka, during bilateral discussions at all levels, to fulfill its commitments on addressing the issues related to protecting the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. This was reiterated during the visits of the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to India in November 2019 and February 2020, respectively, during the India-Sri Lanka Virtual Bilateral Summit on 26 September 2020 between the two Prime Ministers and during External Affairs Minister’s visit to Colombo in January 2021.

At the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India stressed its abiding commitment to the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity. It was reiterated that respecting the rights of the Tamil community, including through meaningful devolution, contributes to the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. India, therefore, believes that delivering on the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community is in the best interests of Sri Lanka. In addition, India also urged the Government of Sri Lanka to carry forward the process of reconciliation, address the aspirations of the Tamil community and continue to engage constructively with the international community to ensure that the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its citizens are fully protected

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