Following the United States’ announcement that the head of Sri Lanka’s army was subject to a travel ban over his involvement in mass atrocities, there have been markedly contrasting responses from Sinhala and Tamil actors on the island and beyond.
A statement released by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Shavendra Silva and his immediate family are now “are ineligible for entry into the United States… due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights”.
Sri Lankan response
The Sri Lankan government, opposition parliamentarians and the Sinhala Buddhist clergy have all been outraged at the sanction, with one parliamentarian calling for a boycott of the United States, whilst another accused Washington of being “the number one war criminal in the world”.
See a selection of Sri Lankan responses below.
Meanwhile Tamil groups in the North-East and around the world, including the Tamil National Alliance and the former Chief Minister of the Northern Province have welcomed the move, and called for other governments around the world to follow suit.
See a selection of Tamil responses below.
Read more on Shavendra Silva and on the US travel ban in our feature: