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SL says UN concerns about general "unethical"

15 February 2012 02:51 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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UNITED NATIONS: Sri Lanka's U.N. mission on Tuesday dismissed as "unfair and unethical" concerns raised by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay about the appointment of a Sri Lankan army general to an advisory panel on peacekeeping.

Pillay said she had informed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of her misgivings about General Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka's deputy UN ambassador, who commanded the Sri Lankan army's 58th Division during the final assault against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

"We find it difficult to understand the concerns being articulated at present, on the basis of unconfirmed allegations and accusations," Sri Lanka's U.N. mission said in a statement.

"This is unfair and unethical," it said.

"Certainly not consistent with any notion of fair play."

A UN-sponsored panel said in a report it had found "credible evidence" that the military killed tens of thousands of civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka's 25-year war against the LTTE in 2009 and that both sides had committed atrocities. Silva is named in that report as the commander of one of "six major battalions (that) were active in the final stages of the war."

The Indian Ocean island nation has come under pressure from Western governments and human right groups to account for war crimes they suspect were committed as the army closed in on the LTTE, who retreated to a narrow strip of coast in northeastern Sri Lanka along with hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The UN human rights commission maintains "A list of individuals who are suspected of committing human rights violations and I have addressed a letter of concern to the secretary-general about this individual," Pillay said of Silva.

Silva was appointed to the advisory panel on peacekeeping by the Asia Group, which consists of UN delegations from Asia and the Middle East, not by Ban himself, UN officials have said. "The selection of the members of the group is beyond the secretary-general's purview," said Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky. "It's a matter for member states."

Sri Lanka contends the UN panel's report on possible war crimes committed by its army simply repeats fabricated charges made by the Tamil Tigers and that its soldiers acted in accordance with international law. The Sri Lankan government has vowed to investigate itself.

A US court this month dismissed a lawsuit against Silva filed by people who said they were relatives of victims of Sri Lankan violence against Tamils, citing his diplomatic immunity as Colombo's deputy UN envoy. (Source: Reuters)

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  Comments - 9

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  • Saskia Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:09 AM

    Ofcourse not, our WC Shavendra Silva can also hold this position. He has all the needed talents for this position.

    Nodrog Wednesday, 15 February 2012 01:19 PM

    NO...because she is biased!

    BOO-BEE Wednesday, 15 February 2012 09:56 AM

    yes Mifaz.....Thats why lot of unnecessary problems for our country from Human Rights....

    My-raj Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:29 AM

    Pillay is trying to be too smart......feel sorry for this lady who is dancing according to TIGER tunes.....

    Leslie Wednesday, 15 February 2012 06:03 AM

    I suppose its time to probl Navi Pillai actitivites. She shoots hereself at all the wrong times and at all the wrong places... she is zombie who should be treated with a pinch of salt.

    ind Wednesday, 15 February 2012 06:49 AM

    Zombie !! That's a good one. A living dead !! We should ask UN to to probe her. That's exactly correct.

    Nilantha Wednesday, 15 February 2012 07:07 AM

    Is she the only person in this world who has qualified to hold this position? strange

    nandasiri Wednesday, 15 February 2012 03:54 PM

    In srilanka and not anywhereelse.

    Mifaz Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:03 AM

    Why? is that because she is Tamil?


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