18 April, 2024


Sushma Swaraj Led Parliamentary Delegation To Visit Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI:In less than a month after India voted for a UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka, an all-party parliamentary delegation is likely to visit Colombo.

The delegation, led by leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, is expected to be in Sri Lanka from April 16 to 21. The visit, which had earlier been planned for late last year, had to be put off because of assembly elections in five states.

However, the visit at this juncture gains significance in the light of India recently joining 23 other countries to vote for a US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, urging Sri Lanka to “credibly investigate” allegations of human rights violations during the last phases of its war against the rebel Tamil Tigers in 2009.

The resolution followed pressure from political parties from Tamil Nadu, including the Congress’ ally DMK, to vote for it. Sri Lanka had managed to defeat a similar vote in UNHRC in 2009 with the help of India and other countries.

There were some doubts over whether the Indian delegation will go ahead with its visit after the vote as Sri Lanka, which had appealed to India, was upset over New Delhi’s decision.

The all-party delegation is expected to meet top functionaries in the government, including Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and their counterparts, including representatives of Tamil parties.

The allegations of war crimes date back to the last stages of the Sri Lankan civil war which ended in May 2009 with the death of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and many of his followers.

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