India raises Sri Lankan Tamil issue in U.N

Source: The post is based on the articleIndia raises Sri Lankan Tamil issue in U.N published in The Hindu on 13th September 2022.

What is the News?

India has called Sri Lanka out at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for lack of measurable progress on its commitments to a political solution to the ethnic Tamil minority issue.

What is the statement given by India at UNHRC?

India has voiced concern over the lack of measurable progress by Sri Lanka on its commitment to a political solution to the Tamil issue through full implementation of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution.

India made this statement at the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

What is the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution?

It is an outcome of the Indo-Lanka Accord of July 1987 signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayawardene in an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict.

The amendment led to the creation of Provincial Councils and assured a power-sharing arrangement to enable all nine provinces in the country, including Sinhala majority areas to self-govern. 

Subjects such as education, health, agriculture, housing, land and police are devolved to the provincial administrations but because of restrictions on financial powers and overriding powers given to the President, the provincial administrations have not made much headway.

Why is this statement of India at UNHRC significant?

India’s statement comes ahead of a resolution on Sri Lanka that will likely face a vote at the UNHRC.

Since 2009, India has voted thrice in favour of the U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka — two were critical — and abstained twice, in 2014 and 2021.

Irrespective of its vote, India has consistently underscored the need for a political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, ensuring justice, peace, equality and dignity for the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

What are the issues faced by Sri Lankan Tamils?

In the post-war years, Sri Lanka’s human rights defenders have frequently flagged concerns over persisting militarisation, especially in the Tamil-majority north and east; repression and the shrinking space for dissent.  

Moreover, in the latest report on Sri Lanka, the U.N. Human Rights Chief said that embedded impunity for past and present human rights abuses, economic crimes and corruption were among the underlying factors that led to the country’s devastating economic crisis.  

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