Unbelievable. Until you realise who backed it – all the countries with piss-poor human rights records. There should be a minimum-level of human rights enshrined in a countries constitution before they are allowed to be members.
China, India, Egypt and Cuba were among the 29 developing countries that backed a Sri Lankan-proposed resolution describing the conflict as a “domestic matter that doesn’t warrant outside interference”. The resolution also supported Colombo’s insistence on allowing aid group access to 270,000 civilians detained in camps only “as may be appropriate”.
Western diplomats and human rights officials were shocked by the outcome at the end of an acrimonious two-day special session to examine the humanitarian and human rights situation in Sri Lanka after the blitzkrieg of the final military offensive that wiped out the Tiger force.
“The vote is extremely disappointing and is a low point for the Human Rights Council. It abandons hundreds of thousands of people in Sri Lanka to cynical political considerations,” Amnesty International said.
…The UN in Sri Lanka says that at least 7,000 civilians were killed in the first four months of the year alone, with the casualty rate sharply rising as the endgame approached. Many of those deaths are believed to have been caused by Sri Lankan army shelling. The Government denies that it caused a single civilian death, blaming all of them on the rebels.(emphasis added by NT)
Western diplomats said that the result called into question the entire purpose of the Human Rights Council — where the 47 members sit as equals with no right of veto for any country. The United States only recently agreed to join it in the belief that the council had been reformed.
Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, had called on Tuesday for an international war crimes inquiry, saying she believed that both sides might be guilty of war crimes. The Tigers are accused of using civilians as human shields and those who fled the war have testified that rebel commanders fired on them to stop them escaping, killing many.
Aid agencies have been given only limited access to the sprawling camps and have been barred from bringing in vehicles for fear that Tiger cadres could use them to escape.
Sri Lanka has said that it will allow access to the camps in a month, after screening for former fighters is complete. On a military-led visit to the camps this week, though, officials admitted that no such screening was taking place and that captured fighters were taken to “rehabilitation camps” before they were registered there.