Tamil Diplomat

India says it sees a ‘sea change’ in Sri Lanka’s approach

President Maithripala Sirisena called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on Friday. The meeting took place on the sideline of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). They held discussion on India –Sri Lanka relation, regional and global issues.

“As far as India is concerned, we naturally support the quest for justice. At the same time we are respectful of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. We are hopeful that a way will be found where both these points and objectives can be met,” PTI reported as quoted by India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Sri Lankan Government is “engaging” with the UN Human Rights Council and there is a “sea change” in the approach of the new government in this island nation, he said yesterday.

When asked about India’s position on hybrid court, Swarup said New Delhi would have to look at the final outcome of the draft resolution as he hoped that it would be a consensus and acceptable to the Sri Lankan Government.

“Our expectation at this point is that hopefully it will Be a consensus resolution which everyone will be able to pass unanimously and it is something which will be acceptable to the Government of Sri Lanka also,” he said.

He said the Sri Lankan government is actively engaging with the Human Rights Council now.

“It a sea change from the position that was there earlier.  Our position is very clear. We stand for justice and at the same time we are respectful of the Sri Lankan sovereignty issues, to the extent the Sri Lankan Government is comfortable with the formulation that marries the two, we will be comfortable with that,” he said.

Issue of human rights and the situation pertaining to the ongoing discussions on UN Human Rights Council did come up during the meeting between Modi and Sirisena, he said.

Complementing the Sri Lankan President on the two elections in the country, Modi said this revealed the deep rooted democratic traditions and the faith that the people of Sri Lanka had in the democracy.

There was a discussion on the reconciliation process and President said he expected this to move forward Swarup said.

Issues of developmental project in Sri Lanka came up, he said, adding that India has made a number of new commitments on railway, infrastructure power and housing project.

“We expect 46,000 houses to be completed by early next year,” Swarup added.