Shavendra Silva’s appointment as Army Commander ‘deeply troubling’ – UN human rights chief
The appointment of Sri Lankan Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva as Commander of the country’s army is deeply troubling, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement released on Monday, adding that the military leader had been given the role despite “serious allegations of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law against him and his troops during the war”.
Lieutenant-General Silva commanded Sri Lanka’s 58th Division during the final stages of the military campaign against the LTTE rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, and UN investigations have implicated the division in alleged serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that “the promotion of Lieutenant-General General Silva severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability in the context of Human Rights Council resolution 30/1”, which promotes reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
She added that the promotion “undermines reconciliation efforts, particularly in the eyes of victims and survivors who suffered greatly in the war. It also sets back security sector reform, and is likely to impact on Sri Lanka’s ability to continue contributing to UN peacekeeping efforts.”
This is not the first time that Ms. Bachelet has expressed concerns about Lieutenant-General Silva and his role in the Sri Lankan army: in March this year, she described his previous appointment, as Army Chief of Staff, as a “worrying development” in a report to the Human Rights Council.
In March, Ms. Bachelet also warned that there has been “minimal progress” on setting up mechanisms to deal with the worst crimes committed during the conflict during 2009, and called for the establishment of an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a vetting process to remove officers with questionable human rights records.
The Sri Lankan Government declared victory over the LTTE in May 2009, after a conflict that had raged on and off for nearly three decades and killed thousands of people: the final months of fighting before the Sri Lankan Government declared victory over the Tamil Tigers in May, generated concerns about alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Dear M/s Michelle Bachelet,
Suggest you stop beating us with your steel tipped boots and look at what’s happening in the World at large.
We are a poor nation of 24 million people and our leaders are corrupt to the core.
Impunity is the name of the game.
We can do anything, maim others and bribe politicians sell illegal brew and other substances, but we escape from the jaws of justice with the assistance of our corrupt judiciary and so do our leaders.
TNA UNHAPPY WITH LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHAVENDRA AS ARMY COMMANDER
Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and it can appoint anyone they like. Please stop dictating us!
Of course Amarakoon,
Sri Lanka can appoint officers confined to the rubbish bin of genocide.
Yeah, Amarakoon, Sinhala Buddhist State, it is.
The most corrupt state in the World. Impunity is at max. You can kill anyone and the corrupt Govt and State Prosecution and the Police will let you go for a few Rupees.
Amarakoon, glad you are living there mate? Glad you are a citizen of the rubbish bin of the World?
Dear Ms. Esmee SILVA you stated: ‘Likewise, the nation cannot exist if it fails to follow international social behaviours.’ Is this rule only applying to Sri Lanka? Thousands of innocent people got killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Now it is happening in Syria? Every 30 minutes a child being killed in Yemen. In SL’s war with LTTE terror out fit nearly 30,000 SL troops got killed. 45,000 got maimed/injured. 25,000 soldiers missing. Who is responsible for this? Take the super state Australia: The ABC’s Afghan Files stories in 2017 gave an unprecedented insight into the operation of Australia’s elite forces, detailing incidents of troops killing unarmed men and children and concerned about a ‘warrior culture’ among Auz soldiers. Do you in June/may this year Australian federal police raided HQ of ABC and forcibly removed ‘Afghan Files?’ violating press freedom? Has anyone of these troops charged? So, tell me Ms. Esmee SILVA Australia cannot exit because it failed to follow international social behaviours? Please tell me mate. Why people only crying for Sri Lanka and forcing Sri Lanka to answer these allegations? Is this because Sri Lanka is a helpless state? Or we have backbone less leaders? Australia is a Rubbish bin too isn’t it?