India says ready to back UN vote on Sri Lanka war crimes

March 19, 2012 17:06


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NEW DELHI - India said on Monday it was likely to support a US-led resolution at the United Nations to pressure Sri Lanka on war crimes, a policy shift that helps the government domestically but could damage relations with the island nation.

Western powers are increasingly taking Sri Lanka to task for not investigating allegations of widespread extra-judicial killings and other abuses by soldiers against Tamil minority civilians in the final months of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009.

"We do not yet have the final text," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the lower house of parliament, referring to a resolution that calls on Sri Lanka to honour a promise to probe the alleged abuses. "However, I may assure the house that we are inclined to vote in favour," Singh added.

The proposed resolution, which is due later this month though no date has been fixed, carries no legal sanctions, but could damage Sri Lanka's image as it steps up efforts to attract tourists and investment.

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