Sri Lanka claims moral victory from war crimes vote

COLOMBO, March 28, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka tried to claim a moral victory Friday and insisted it would push on with reconciliation efforts after being censured by the UN’s top rights body for failing to bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice. The US-initiated resolution was carried at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva Thursday with 23 votes in favour and 12 against. Sri Lankan officials said the fact that another 12 nations abstained meant that a majority of the 47-member council did not support the censure move.

“Those 24 countries who refused to endorse the US resolution have sent a very clear and emphatic message rejecting imposition of external solutions on Sri Lanka,” Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka’s top envoy in Geneva, told AFP by telephone.

Sri Lanka’s state-run Daily News reported Thursday’s UN vote under the headline: “Majority against America.” The paper also called the UNHRC vote a “moral victory” for Colombo.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, who rejected the UN call for an investigation against his country, told AFP Thursday that he was pleased that neighbouring India, which voted for a similar resolution last year, decided to abstain this time round.
“I think it is encouraging that India did not vote agai