Sri Lanka names war veteran as army chief, U.S. critical of decision
Sri Lanka’s President on Monday named war veteran Shavendra Silva as its army chief, drawing sharp criticism from the United States over the appointment of an officer who has been accused of human rights violations.
Silva, 55, is credited with successfully leading an army division against dissident Tamil Tigers in the final phases of the island nation’s 26-year-long civil war.
His victory, however, was highly controversial.
A United Nations panel has accused Silva’s unit of shooting at unarmed rebels in the final week of the war which ended in 2009.
Silva, who joined the army in 1984 and was its chief of staff since January, has denied the accusations.
Washington expressed its disapproval of Silva’s appointment in a strongly-worded statement.
“The allegations of gross human rights violations against him, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible,” the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a statement.
“This appointment undermines Sri Lanka’s international reputation and its commitments to promote justice and accountability, especially at a time when the need for reconciliation and social unity is paramount.”
Silva was named head of the army after the previous chief Mahesh Senanayake’s term ended on Sunday.
His appointment demonstrates a disregard for human rights, said civil society groups including the Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The Sri Lankan President’s office and the military media unit did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the criticism.
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Here we go again, the social and economic benefits arising from being international citizens are under threat.
People living in villages know the value of living in a society.
You cannot be a kasippu mudalali or kudu mudalali in a village and be accepted by society.
Likewise, the nation cannot exist if it fails to follow international social behaviours.
The US entered into an illegal war with Iraq on the flimsy notion of “weapons of mass destruction “.
A country and its people; millions were decimated.
The term ” collateral damage” was bandied around as justification for killing civilians.
Pictures of tortured victims shot across the globe.
Given all of the above,
a) Is US in any position to criticise us?
b) We need to do what is best for our country without foreign interference.
We are no longer a colony, and our leaders should remember that!
Accused but not proven. Concerns can be seen, but not all can be satisfied.
US also had many as such. From Iraq war, Vietnam War, Libiya War, Etc
Dilshan and Maaraya,
Thank you for your views.
To belong to the International Community and participate in trade, we have to follow the IC’s basic requirements.
If you think the US is a big HR violator, please remember they are a super-power.
If you think you can stand up to their ‘bullying’, well, you will end up like Gadaffi.
Dilshan and Maaraya,
Forget your pride and work with the International Community to ACHIEVE OUR GOALS.
Otherwise, our population will soon be surviving on Punnakku and Kassippu.
Reply to Ravindra Maldeniya,
Thank you for your comments.
I am aware of the bigger picture and the international community.
However, the only reason the war against LTTE was ended in 2009, was because the Rajapakses did not bow down to international pressure. Instead, they took the decision to do what was best for the country.
And apart from the LTTE and their supporters, most Sri Lankans are happy that we are at peace now.
The war in Sri Lanka could have ended earlier, on more than one occasion, but was thwarted due to international interference.
As long as Sri Lanka stays firm, and fair and within international law, she has a right to steer her own destiny. If bullying and interference is not dealt with swiftly and tactfully, we will always be reacting to everybody’s whim and fancy. Sometimes, the best way is to turn a deaf ear to bullying rhetoric. It speaks volumes.
Hopefully, the next government will be stronger, more coherent, and more focused, which might keep the sharks at bay!
Dear Ms. Esmee Fernanado 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 fid 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 Fernanado 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?