Mar 10, 2019

Army refuses to probe Shavendra Featured

The Army refused to investigate Army Chief of Staff Major General Shavendra Silva for human rights abuses which have been raised by some human rights groups targeting the ongoing session at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake told The Sunday Morning that the Army was not going to conduct an internal inquiry into the allegations. Instead, the Army would conduct a fact-finding study to figure out the reason as to why the Army was being targeted for war crimes allegations.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had in a report that was made public last week, expressed her concern at the appointment, on 9 January 2019, of Major General Shavendra Silva as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army.

The report noted that Major General Silva was the commanding officer of the 58th Army Division during the last stages of the war, and allegations were documented against troops under his command in connection with violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including by the Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka appointed by the Secretary General in its report and the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka.