U.N. Sri Lanka Vote Redefines India’s Regional Role


In the early months of 2009 when Sri Lanka’s war was reaching its final crescendo, frantic calls were made to Colombo by Sri Lankan diplomats at the United Nations headquarters in New York. According to a top Sri Lankan diplomat, some calls were directly to Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, warning the Sri Lankan president that the U.S., Britain and France were contemplating unilateral action against the government for the conduct of its war against the Tamil Tigers.

The Rajapaksa government, poised to claim a decisive victory in the three-decades-old war, was in no mood for outside meddling – though it did accept a helping hand from an old trusted friend. Indian diplomats told supporters of action against Sri Lanka that New Delhi was against any kind of foreign intervention, a move that eased pressure on Colombo considerably. By mid May 2009, just a few months after those frantic calls, the war…

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