Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Reuters

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sent a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to mend the seemingly strained links after India had supported the UN resolution on war crimes by the island nation.

The Sri Lankan government has openly criticized India's support for the US-backed resolution in the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

In his letter, the Prime Minister said that India had strived hard to strike an element of balance in language and pressed the US to bring a few amendments in the resolution against Sri Lanka over the alleged war crimes that claimed lives of a number of innocent Tamil people in the island as the regime was engaged in its last phase of duel with the LTTE.  

"Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution," said Manmohan Singh in the letter.

He had asked Indian delegation to keep a close tab on the latest developments regarding the US resolution in the UNHRC and remain in close contact with their Sir Lankan counterparts to assist the island nation to ride out of the storm.  

"With regard to the matter of the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council, I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward," read the Prime Minister's letter.

Referring to a letter to India from the Sri Lankan President March 19, three days before the vote, he said, "We have also had occasion in the past to discuss the way ahead with regard to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation."

"It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect. I would like to reiterate to Your Excellency my Government's commitment to continue to be of assistance in the achievement of this important objective," he added.

Many Sri Lankan leaders and newspapers criticised India's support for the US-backed resolution.

In the past, India had avoided supporting the UN resolutions against Sri Lanka. But in the present case, the ruling UPA government was forced to take an anti-Lankan stand owing to the pressure from its coalition partners in Tamil Nadu.