US bans visits by Sri Lanka army chief over war crimes

14 February 2020 09:14 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The United States said Friday it would refuse entry to Sri Lanka's Army chief over what it said “credible” evidence of human rights violations in the 2009 finale to the civil war in Sri Lanka.

The Department of State said that it has designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, current Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defence Staff, "as required under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killings, by the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s Civil War in 2009".

The State Department in a statement further says:

"Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in a gross violation of human rights or significant corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States. The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members. In addition to the public designation of Shavendra Silva, the Department is also designating his immediate family members.

"The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organisations, are serious and credible. His designation underscores the importance we place on human rights in Sri Lanka and globally, our concern over impunity for human rights violations and abuses, as well as our support for promoting accountability for those who engage in such acts. We urge the Sri Lankan government to promote human rights, hold accountable individuals responsible for war crimes and human rights violations, advance security sector reform and uphold its other commitments to pursue justice and reconciliation.

"We deeply value our partnership with the Sri Lankan government and the long-standing democratic tradition we share with the Sri Lankan people. The United States remains committed to strengthening the bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka and helping reshape its security forces to tackle current and emerging threats. Security cooperation will continue to emphasise respect for human rights as a fundamental component of our training, assistance, and engagements.

"The United States will continue to use all available tools and authorities, as appropriate, to address human rights violations and abuses around the world no matter when they occurred or who perpetrated them. Today’s actions underscore our commitment to support human rights, promote accountability for perpetrators, and encourage reconciliation in support of a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Sri Lanka."

  Comments - 10

  • Anmanpan Friday, 14 February 2020 09:25 PM

    In that case you also need to add the same band for his spurious.

    Anmanpan Friday, 14 February 2020 09:26 PM

    Nice. Long overdue. We hope UK, the EU and Australia too follow suit.

    Be Fair Friday, 14 February 2020 10:44 PM

    I wish I can comment like that from London or Zurich

    Be Fair Friday, 14 February 2020 10:44 PM

    I wish I can comment like that from London or Zurich

    Sena Friday, 14 February 2020 10:40 PM

    China and India will support us. Finally that's what matters.

    V.I.S.Jayapalan poet Friday, 14 February 2020 10:49 PM

    Thanks America and the Intentional community. People with Human rights violations are not punished. The Tamil political prisoners are still not released. What is the reaction of the Sri Lankan government?

    Susil Saturday, 15 February 2020 09:43 PM

    Actions of US and other Western countries push Sri Lanka further away from them. Politicians of these countries don't care about the Sri Lankan people's needs. They care about their political survival. They need support of Tamil people living in those countries. Although not many Tamils are living in USA, US Govt acts on requests made by European Govts. Banning Army chief is a result of that.

    Bernard Sanders Saturday, 15 February 2020 10:31 PM

    Before US ban SL army chief, they should charge George Bush and Cheney for war crimes, illegal arm deals and killing thousands of Iraqis and American soldiers to initiate a non existing war in Iraq!!!

    CHULANI Saturday, 15 February 2020 11:17 PM

    People on US Travel bans -- they become leaders - eg Modi.........Sri Lanka now swings more towards CHINA.....US say goodbye to any treaty with Sri Lanka.....Thanks to this stupidity, now GOTA / SLPP is assured of a 2 /3 rds majority

    US the Clown Wednesday, 19 February 2020 04:24 PM

    Could someone ask the US who dropped a nuclear bomb on civilians in Nagasaki? Ask them how many perished on that fateful day?

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