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Alleged war criminal appointed to UN Peace Keeping group

The suspected war criminal, Major General Shavendra Silva of the Sri Lankan Army, has been selected to the UN Special Advisory Group on Peace Keeping Operations on Thursday, representing the Asia-Pacific states.

The body will mainly examine issues of reimbursing countries who donate troops to UN Peace Keeping Operations, such as Sri Lanka has done in Haiti.

The General, who is Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations has had a lawsuit filed against him in the United States, as well as ten different human rights organisations call to suspend his diplomatic credentials, after overwhelming evidence of war crimes emerged.

Silva is accused of personally directing and perpetrating war crimes during the Sri Lankan Army’s offensive on the Vanni, with one soldier quoting Silva saying,

“This is a very decisive day for us because last night I got a call from the defence secretary. He told me that we only have a small chunk of land left to capture. Do whatever it takes- finish it off the way it has to be done."

See the video below for the soldier’s testimony, as well as Channel 4’s foreign affairs correspondent catch up with General Silva outside the UN offices in New York.

See our earlier posts:

International human rights groups urge UN to act on Silva
(09 Nov 2011)

Lawsuit filed against Shavendra Silva in US
(24 Sep 2011)

Killing spree after Gotabaya’s orders: Army eyewitness accounts
(27 July 2011)

Army chief details murders of Nadesan, Puleedevan (16 Dec 2009)