The Indian Express reports that India’s National Security Advisor Shiv-Shankar Menon has made it clear to the Sri Lankan top brass that New Delhi’s stance at the Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in November will depend entirely on what Colombo does to improve its human rights image.
Menon’s refrain that the issues of ethnic reconciliation and political settlement of the Tamil question in Lanka are matters to be settled by Sri Lankans only can be interpreted to mean that Lanka cannot count on blind backing from India at the UNHRC, where it is expected to come under intense scrutiny.
According to the India Express India has a crucial role to play in the UPR because it is one of the three countries charged with the responsibility of overseeing the proceedings, the other two being Spain and Benin.
Moreover, the Indian Express notes that Sri Lankans were not aware that New Delhi itself had grievances against the Lankan government and that the negative Indian vote was but an expression of its displeasure with Colombo.
It states that in 2009, the Lankan government had explicitly promised to effectively implement the devolution package contained in the 13th amendment of Lanka’s own constitution, but was not kept.