India Abstains From Voting On UNHCR Resolutions On Human Rights In China And Sri Lanka

The resolution sought a debate on the human rights situation in China's Xinjian province, however it was rejected by the UNHCR.

India Abstains From Voting On UNHCR Resolutions On Human Rights In China And Sri Lanka
Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hongkongers gathered in Brussels to protest against Chinese oppression. (ANI Photo/File)

INDIA abstained from voting on a draft resolution on the Uyghur issue in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) on Thursday. The resolution sought a debate on the human rights situation in China's Xinjian province.

The resolution was rejected in the 47-member UNHCR as 19 voted against it and 11 abstained from voting. With 17 votes, the resolution received the support of less than half the council. Brazil, Mexico and Ukraine were also among those who abstained.

Human rights groups have alleged that more than one million Uyghurs had been detained against their will in a large network of what Beijing calls "re-education camps". For years, human rights advocates have been sounding the alarm over the happenings in the resource-rich north-western Chinese province.

The draft resolution was presented by a core group consisting of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, UK and USA, and co-sponsored by a range of states, including Turkey.

It was for the first time in its history, that the UN's top human rights body considered a proposal to debate the human rights situation in the Xinjiang region of China, said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. Even as the resolution was not accepted, Richardson vowed to keep fighting.

Since late 2017, major allegations of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim communities in China have been brought to the attention of the UN Human Rights Council.

India also abstained from voting on the UNHRC draft resolution on human rights situation in Sri Lanka. United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) draft resolution on "Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka" was adopted at the 51st Session of the Human Rights Council.

Refraining from voting, Indian Ambassador to UN Indra Mani Pandey said it has always been guided by two fundamental principles -- "support to the aspirations of the Tamils for equality" and "peace and sovereignty of Sri Lanka."

"Achieving prosperity for all Sri Lankans and realizing the legitimate aspirations of Tamils of Sri Lanka' for prosperity, dignity and peace are two sides of the same coin," he added.

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