Apr 01, 2017

Shavendra Silva further up the military ladder

Major General Shavendra Silva who commanded the 58 Division during the last stages of the war has been appointed to the post of Adjutant General and assumed  duties in his new post on Thursday (30).

Accordingly, Major General L.H.S.C Silva becomes the 28th Adjutant General of the Sri Lanka Army.

Major General Shavendra Silva after placing his signature in an official document symbolized the acceptance of the new office. Several officers were present at the occasion.

White flag and 58:

The request to summon before the Court, Major General Shavendra Silva in connection with the disappearance of the LTTE members who were in his charge  seven years ago was rejected by the government last Thursday.

At the end of the war, the 58 Div. led by Major General Shavendra Silva had taken into custody the LTTE cadres who had raised white flags and surrendered. It was revealed in the 2013 UN Human Rights Council report that there is eyewitness accounts of the surrender.

The report suggested that among those who surrendered were  the leader of the LTTE political wing Balasingham Nadesan and the head of the LTTE peace secretariat Seevaratnam Pulidevan.

However, according to the Sri Lanka security forces, Pulidevan and Nadesan were killed on May 18, 2009 by the 58 Div.

Having been given a guarantee by the Sri Lankan government and having surrendered carrying white flags, the killing of the group of LTTE members including Nadesan and Pulidevan is considered a war crime by the UNHRC and has suggested an independent investigation into the incident be carried out by the Paranagama Presidential Commission.

Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had stated that such an investigation should definitely be an international investigation.

Diplomatic Immunity:

The case filed against Shavendra Silva in New York by a group of Tamils who had suffered during the Vanni operations was dismissed by the Court because Silva was appointed as the Sri Lanka representative to the UN and the diplomatic immunity he had.

Meanwhile a group of Division Commanders who were in charge of the Vanni operations had approached President Maithripala Sirisena towards the end of 2015 and requested a service extension to safeguard themselves and the President had sought parliamentary approval.

The President affirmed in Kurunegala recently that he together with the support of international powers would vouch for the safety of the military officers who engaged in the operations in the North.