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Buddhist monks and war criminals - first day at new office for Shavendra Silva

The commander of Sri Lanka’s army began his first day at the new military headquarters, by paying tribute to Buddhist monks and partaking in religious ceremonies this week.

Shavendra Silva, accused of overseeing war crimes, was giving a formal military guard turnout as he entered the new ten-storied Rs. 53.3 billion Army Headquarters at Akuregoda. The complex is reportedly the largest construction project in Sri Lanka.

Senior Buddhist clergy members then received offerings from SIlva.

Silva headed Sri Lanka's 58 Division, an army unit which has been accused of mass atrocities and violations of international law during the 2009 military offensive that saw the killing of tens of thousands of Tamils. The 58 Division has been accused of repeatedly bombing hospitals, widespread sexual violence, torture and the execution of surrendering Tamils. His appointment as head of the Sri Lankan army sparked international condemnation earlier this year.

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