Sri Lanka Army chief Shavendra Silva banned from visiting United States: Pompeo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s army chief Shavendra Silva has been banned from visiting the United States, over alleged human rights violations in the last stages of the islands civil war which ended in 2009, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

“..[I]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,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“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.”

In June 2019, Secretary Pompeo cancelled a visit to Sri Lanka, at a time when the island was due to renew some defence agreements.

“We deeply value our partnership with the Sri Lankan government and the long-standing democratic tradition we share with the Sri Lankan people,” Pompeo said.

“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 emphasize respect for human rights as a fundamental component of our training, assistance, and engagements.”

Sri Lanka has protested the decision saying allegations are not proven. (Colombo/Feb15/2020 – )

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