U.N. suspends Sri Lankan troops from peacekeeping over army chief appointment
The United Nations suspended Sri Lankan Army deployments in the world body’s peacekeeping operations after the Indian Ocean island nation appointed a war veteran who has been accused of serious human rights violations, an official said on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s president in August appointed war veteran Shavendra Silva as its army chief, drawing sharp criticism from the United States and the United Nations over the appointment of an officer who has been accused of serious human rights violations.
“We have expressed our concern to the government of Sri Lanka over the appointment of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva to the position of commander of the Sri Lanka Army despite well-documented, credible allegations of his involvement in serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York.
“In light of this appointment, the U.N. Department of Peace Operations is therefore suspending future Sri Lankan army deployments except where suspension would expose U.N. operations to serious operational risk.”
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 brutal civil war.
His victory, however, was highly controversial. Thousands of civilians were killed in the last phases of the conflict, including in areas declared by the government to be a “no-fire zone” which came under sustained army shelling, including hospitals.
A United Nations panel has accused Silva’s division of suspected extrajudicial executions of unarmed rebels in the final week of the war, which ended in 2009, and systematic torture of people in custody.
Silva, who joined the army in 1984 and had been its chief of staff since January, has denied the accusations.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement in August that Silva’s promotion “severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability.”
The United States expressed its disapproval of Silva’s appointment in a strongly worded statement and said “the allegations of gross human rights violations against him, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible.”
Silva was named head of the army after the term of the previous chief, Mahesh Senanayake, ended in July.
The Sri Lankan president’s office and the military media unit did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the criticism.
Various countries contribute forces to U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world.
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The birth of the Paraya Nation has been confirmed.
Soon, with a Sinhala Buddhist alleged War Crim in the King’s chair in Dec 2019, the new Paraya Nation will be anointed.
The United Nations & United stated are playing against my mother land as per the Tamil Diaspora …
But The United Nations & United stated did not take any action against Anton Balasinham, Karuna amman.Pillayarn…..etc
I think SL troops have enough to do at home including keeping the country and the environment clean to combat Dengue and Chicken gunya epidemics.
If anybody wants to have an example of what COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT is this is one. It is banned under UN human rights very likely.
Of course Indra, SL troops under a war criminal can only be engaged in fighting mosquitoes.
There is no law against killing mosquitoes but there are certainly many laws against killing innocent civilians.
Welcome to Gothabhaya country where death rules !!!!
Oh My lovely Esmee, I lived during the Era when the people and children disappeared in Green Pajeros and burnt on roadside tyre pyres and the edge ponds in university was decorated with decapitated heads of students tortured in places like Batalanda. So save your crap please!
Good comment Indira. Looks like the Rajapakse haters have already given the presidency to GR. Perhaps Esmee can a,so explain how come soldiers generals and the minister of defence have been charged with war crimes by the UN but they have not laid a single charge on the Sarath Fonseka who was the army commander at the time. Would he have been charged if he did not join the Butterfly Brigade. So is the UN based or are they pushed by the Tamils?.
Field Marshall SF cannot be charged because he was an excellent strategist.
Operational commands were flying over his head fro high (non-army) officers sitting in air-conditioned offices and riding in bullet proof BMW’s.
But Stanley, the good news is that I have forgiven the R Family.
I think the elders in the R Family have the potential to lead the nation, positively, against the alternative available via the UNP nominee, Dumb Head Mod*dasa, the Keselwatte Kolla.
To hell with Peace Keeping. Charity begins at your home. First, keep peace at home. Ms. Sandya Eknali Goda told SL troops used chemical weapons during the terror war (in Geneva). If this is trure, then FM Fonseka is directly responsible for this!