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Colombo sending ‘clear message to international community’ with appointment of Silva - GTF

The Sri Lankan government has sent a “clear message to the international community that the country cares little about its views and the potential consequences of its failures in faithfully implementing the UNHRC resolution” with its appointment of Shavendra Silva as the army’s chief of staff, said the Global Tamil Forum in a statement this week.

Stating that the appointment of Silva has “sent shock waves through the Tamil community, and to all those interested in human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka” the diaspora organisation called on the international community to “face up to these challenges”.

Silva headed the notorious 58 Division of the Sri Lankan army in 2009, when hospitals were shelled and tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in a massive military offensive.

Sri Lanka will have “nothing to report on the criminal accountability of its armed forces” in March of this year the GTF added, when the UN Human Rights Council is set to meet and discuss Colombo’s progress in implementing a resolution that it co-sponsored. 

The statement concluded,

“The Silva episode must be one important factor when UNHRC member countries decide on appropriate responses and setting up mechanisms to achieve accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka for the post March 2019 period.” 

See the full text of the statement here.