Catherine Philp in Colombo
28 May 2009
Sri Lanka claimed a propaganda victory last night after the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution praising its defeat of the Tamil Tigers and condemning the rebels for using civilians as human shields.
China, India, Egypt and Cuba were among the 29 developing countries that backed a Sri Lankan-proposed resolution describing the conflict as a omestic matter that doesnt warrant outside interference. The resolution also supported Colombos insistence on allowing aid group access to 270,000 civilians detained in camps only s 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.
he 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.
Sri Lanka, unable to stop the Human Rights Council taking up its case, rushed its own motion to the floor in time to beat a more censorious resolution tabled by Switzerland.
Twelve countries, mostly European and including Britain, opposed the resolution after failing to win support for their version, which called for unfettered access to detained civilians and an internal investigation of alleged war crimes by both sides.(...)