Updated: March 21, 2013 11:13 PM GMT
Sri Lankan politicians and media have been angered by a UN resolution calling for a probe into alleged war crimes.
A ruling coalition partner urged Colombo to reconsider ties with nations that supported Thursday's censure move at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
The US-initiated move was passed with the support of 25 nations, including India.
The Council pressed Colombo to "credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances," stating that Sri Lanka had failed to adequately address serious charges of war crimes.
Rights groups have said up to 40,000 civilians were killed by security forces in the final months of fighting, a charge denied by Colombo.
The country’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has cleared the military of violations against civilians, saying abuses by soldiers only occurred on an individual basis.
The state-run Daily News, reporting the vote under the headline, "Sri Lanka rejects intrusive resolution," said the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should be dismantled.
"Sri Lanka should spearhead that demand with the support of like-minded countries," the paper said.
Sri Lanka’s envoy to the rights council, Mahinda Samarasinghe said his government rejects the validity of the resolution as it went beyond the UN mandate.
He said the resolution at the UNHRC is clearly unacceptable as it is intrusive, bears misinterpretations and is dismissive.
Sri Lankan anger to the resolution was also directed toward India for supporting the resolution.
"India joins USA to beat SL," the privately-run Daily Mirror said on its front page.
Technology Research and Atomic Energy minister Champika Ranawaka released a statement urging the government to block trade concessions to Indian business interests after Thursday's vote.
"We strongly urge the government not to grant any trade or diplomatic concessions to India which does not respect our sovereignty," said Ranawaka, who leads the National Heritage Party.
Sri Lanka later announced plans to take back part of a strategic oil storage depot from a state-run Indian firm.
Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said there were provisions to take back tanks that were not being used by the Indian Oil Company's local unit, Lanka IOC, in the northeastern port of Trincomalee.
"If they are not using these tanks, the CPC [state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation] wants to take them back and put them to good use," he said.
The Indian government however said it had been given assurances that no decision had been taken.
Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council, meanwhile, said the resolution was a strong warning to the government and signifies a hardening of the international community’s stance on human rights.
“The government needs to revise and improve its action plan and today there is a criticism that the present government in particular has set about dismantling the independence of public institutions and further politicized the public service,” said Dr Jehan Perera, the council’s executive director.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.