A lot of critics have stated that India’s support for US sponsored resolution on the alleged war crimes was against India’s Strategic Interests.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/india-votes-against-lanka-un-resolution-on-war-crimes-adopted-188871 ( Link to the story)

Their main points of concern are :

1) India has lost the strategic space to China in Sri Lanka as it would be deemed as a closer and more trusted ally by Colombo. Thus domestic political constraints i.e Tamil politicians were considered more important than the larger national interest.

2) India traditionally has never voted in favour of country specific resolutions. This might come back to bite us on issues such as Kashmir,North East or the Maoist infested areas in Central,Eastern and Southern India.

3) We have stopped having an independent foreign policy and have given into the demands of the US.

I completely disagree with these points:

1) We cannot divorce local politics and ethnic kinship from our strategic aims. The fact is that Tamil Nadu State is the home base for the world’s Tamil population. They have concerns on the happenings to their kin in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. Riding roughshod over their feelings could come back and bite India as they could feel that a majority of Indians especially the establishment does not understand their concerns about the situation. Thus it could lead to another ethnicity of India feeling alienated with the Indian Union. Smart and tactful diplomacy can ensure that we still retain influence in Colombo while trying to improve the lot of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

2) The concept of using principles in international relations, in my opinion, is a bit of bull. Diplomacy is based upon pragmatism. In spite of voting for country specific resolutions we can still ensure, due  to our increasing economic importance, that no anti-India resolution is passed. Secondly we need to improve our own Human rights records. Remember that persecution only increases support and if you don’t persecute people they will support you.

3) We still have an independent foreign policy. Voting for the US on a few issues does not mean that we have surrendered our sovereignty.

In conclusion, we voted the right way, not because it was the right thing to do ( there is no concept of right or wrong in International Affairs), but because it was in our own national interest to ensure that feelings of the Tamils are understood and taken care of.

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