IJTP urges allies not to grant Army Commander visas to travel

The Johannesburg based International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) is condemning the appointment of Lt Gen Shavendra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army saying the government of Sri Lanka has betrayed its people by making this move.

The IJTP in a press release yesterday 19 Aug said the Sri Lankan President’s “decision to appoint a notorious alleged war criminal, Major General Shavendra Silva, as Commander of the Army is immensely damaging to the country and marks the end of any reconciliation process, given the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against him.”

IJTP has called on Sri Lanka’s allies to refuse the Commander visas to travel “even on official duty.”

ITJP Executive Director Yasmin Sooka said, “his promotion will spark fear throughout the country but especially among the hundreds of thousands of Tamils who suffered immense loss in 2009 when Silva allegedly oversaw attacks on civilian sites”.

Shavendra Silva has also never been held accountable for his role in crushing the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or People’s Liberation Front uprising in the late eighties during which there were credible allegations of summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence, and the detention of thousands of Sinhala youth. Some of the violations occurred in Matale where Silva was based, serving under Gotabaya Rajapaksa who commanded the first Gajaba Regiment there.

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