US says SL army chief appointment will curtail cooperation

23 October 2019 03:21 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s appointment of a war veteran accused of serious human rights violations as head of its army will significantly curtail U.S. security cooperation with the country, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Sri Lanka’s president appointed Shavendra Silva as its army chief in August, drawing sharp criticism from the United States and the United Nations.

A U.N. panel has accused the division Silva commanded of extrajudicial executions of unarmed rebels in the final week of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009 and systematic torture of people in custody.

Robert Destro, the official in charge of human rights issues at the U.S. State Department, told a congressional hearing Silva’s appointment undermined Sri Lanka’s commitment to promoting accountability at a time when the need for reconciliation was paramount.

“We have made it clear to the Sri Lankan president and other senior officials that Silva’s promotion to army commander will significantly curtail bilateral cooperation with the Sri Lankan Army under U.S. law, while accountability for Silva and other perpetrators could lead to easing restrictions and greater military engagement,” Destro said in prepared testimony.

The top U.S. diplomat for South Asia, Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, told the same House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that Washington was encouraged by Sri Lanka’s progress in establishing offices for missing persons and reparations and the continued return of land in the north and east to its original owners.

However, she said progress in other areas had been slow or had stalled, including on constitutional reform, replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act, establishing a truth and reconciliation commission, and creating a credible accountability mechanism.

She called the allegations against Silva documented by the United Nations and other organizations “serious and credible” and said the United States would actively press its human rights agenda with whichever candidate emerged victorious from next month’s election in Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 10

  • Ps Wednesday, 23 October 2019 03:50 PM

    Wow. Great news for Sri Lanka!!!

    DillonDP Wednesday, 23 October 2019 04:54 PM

    Well i am sure we can evaporate USA with shavin and his clan no biggy deal

    vithura Wednesday, 23 October 2019 04:39 PM

    What happens if someone with similar allegations gets elected to be the President of the country?

    And. R Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:50 PM

    God save Our Country .

    Jude Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:40 PM

    Hey Yankees!! It was "Collateral Damage" !!! YOU guys know it well huh!!, it happens in any war!!! Move on!!!

    Jude Wednesday, 23 October 2019 06:44 PM

    Hey if you want our guy!??, then why DON'T YOU haul your guy Bush Jr. and that fellow Blair to The Hauge!!!????

    Yankie Wednesday, 23 October 2019 07:15 PM

    It is commendable that USA is speaking out defending human rights. That said atrocities of its own army should not be swept under the carpet.

    smartgent Wednesday, 23 October 2019 07:31 PM

    How can the citizens of this country elect a presidential candidate who is facing legal cases against him and has a criminal record by ordering the killing of innocent Tamils? Every peace-loving Sri Lankan should work to defeat this dictator.

    Shan Wednesday, 23 October 2019 08:35 PM

    There no allegations only bogus lies made by NGO's

    Tinkiriya Thursday, 24 October 2019 09:32 PM

    But allowing their CIA agent Gota to contest will achieve US military and geo strategic objective.


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